Valley Fault System Atlas: A Tool for Disaster Preparedness

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The Valley Fault System (VPS) Atlas is a handbook of large scale maps showing detailed areas throughout East Valley Fault and West Valley Fault. It is a new and better mapping tool which could help local government units and individuals to minimize the impact of disaster on every lives and structures.

The Valley Fault System Atlas was launched on May 18, 2015 by PHIVOLCS, MMDA, NDRRMC and UNDP officials in preparation for a possible 7.2 magnitude earthquake that may happen within our lifetime.

Valley fault system is an active fault system in the Greater Metro Manila Area having two fault traces: the 10 km long East Valley Fault in Rizal and the 100 km long West Valley Fault that runs through different cities and towns in Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite and Laguna.

The West Valley Fault can produce a large earthquake which poses a threat to people’s lives, buildings, infrastructure, and livelihood. It is also known to generate big quakes every 400 to 600 years. The last major quake happened 357 years ago in 1658, meaning another one can happen as soon as 43 years from now.  According to Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study, the death toll in Metro Manila could be around 33,500 with at least 100,000 injured. Some 40% of residential buildings are likely to be heavily or partially damaged. Total cost of damage could reach P2.3 trillion. With those points, the atlas should enable national and local governments, homeowners, building owners, and disaster officials to prepare for this eventuality.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW VFS ATLAS

  • Uses the most recent official maps available from the National
    Mapping Resource Authority (NAMRIA).
  • Shows a more detailed view of specific streets and villages along and near the fault.
  • An improvement of a previous map by PHIVOLCS done in a 1 to 10,000 scale.
  • Presents the most detailed map of the two faults, having been done in a scale of 1 to 5,000 which shows actual streets, villages, and even the outline of some structures.
  • User-friendly way, that even laymen can check their proximity to the fault and coordinate with their local governments on disaster preparedness measures.
  • Serve as a “solid reference” for the placement of evacuation centers, roads, and houses.
  • Can help city planners draft more disaster-resilient land use plans.
  • Strengthen disaster risk management and policies on land use, engineering, and issuance of building permits.

The atlas shows the actual fault line that runs through a few cities in the Metro Manila. Thus, by knowing where the active fault lies is the key to people’s awareness and preparedness for earthquakes, appropriate land use, contingency planning for disaster response and design of houses, buildings and infrastructures.

THE CREDIBILITY OF VFS ATLAS

“The Valley Fault System Atlas was conceptualized as a handy reference for everyone to serve as a guide in making sure that areas traversed by active faults are avoided. Such sites include houses and structures that are considered in various mitigation and response actions or enhancing the safety and resilience of communities to strong earthquake events. Thus, ensuring buildings are earthquake-resilient is the best preparation for an earthquake.”

– Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., Director of DOST-PHIVOLCS

“Through the publication of this Atlas, which specifies the position and location of the Valley Fault System in GMMA, we have taken a leap forward in reducing risk from earthquake. This tool will help us closer to achieving the goal of our national DRRM effort to build safer, disaster-resilient and climate-change adaptive communities throughout the country.”

– Alexander P. Pama, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Undersecretary

“The atlas is very relevant for land use planning as we are helping LGUs review and update their Comprehensive Land Use Plan or CLUPs.”

– Emerson Carlos, Assistant General Manager for Operations of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

“Once the documents to secure a building permit is submitted to us and we suspect that it’s near the fault line, based on PHIVOLCS data, we will endorse it to PHIVOLCS for a hazard assessment report. The atlas could expedite the city’s evaluation process on which areas are hazardous.”

– Engr. Robert Moreno, technical evaluator of the Marikina City Engineering Office

“Informed policies are the key to ensuring that the devastating earthquakes in Nepal last April and May and in Haiti in 2010 – won’t claim as many lives in the Philippines. Earthquakes themselves do not kill people. What does kill people is poor planning, inadequate preparedness, and the lack of application of appropriate building standards.”

– Titon Mitra, United Nations Development Program’s Country Director

HOW TO READ THE HANDBOOK?
vfs-atlas-ph-part-1-1-638The handbook has its own guide on how to interpret it. This guide can be seen in the introduction of the Valley Fault System Atlas Handbook. Different lines were indicated to know the location of active faults fissures, and where faults go along with fissures, also the certainty of PHIVOLCS on the location of the fault and whether or not the fault is hidden by natural or man-made obstructions.

Hardcopies of the handbook were distributed to local government officials of affected cities and towns who attended the launch. A digital copy can be accessed in the PHIVOLCS website.

You may click the link below to log on PHIVOLCS website and download the original, full-sized document of the atlas.

http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=500043

Once you already log-in, you may click the linked pages to download files. The VFS Atlas maps can be downloaded per city or municipality. Downloading of each file may take some time due to big file size.


Here’s the complete PDF of Valley Fault System Atlas, uploaded in smaller parts:

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 1

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 2

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 3

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 4

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 5

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 6

The Valley Fault System Atlas Part 7


REFERENCES AND RELATED TOPICS:

High Resolution West Valley Fault Maps- http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/disasters/93575-valley-fault-system-map-launch

New PHIVOLCS Atlas Shows Detaile View of Quake Fault-http://cnnphilippines.com/metro/2015/05/18/Phivolcs-atlas-disaster-preparedness-tool.html

DOST Gives Fault System Atlas to Local Gov’t Units-http://www.dost.gov.ph/index.php/knowledge-resources/news/44-2015-news/693-dost-gives-fault-system-atlas-to-local-gov-t-units

Earthquake Magnitude Scale and Classes- http://www.geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/magnitude.html

Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=419:mmeirs&catid=66



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