Are we ready for the ‘big one’?
Are we prepared? This was my first thought when I saw that picture on the Feb. 8 front page of the Inquirer. Everyone knows that in the future, the “Big One” can also hit the Philippines. The question is, will it happen somewhere in the mountains or hit a city like Davao, Cebu or Metro Manila? If so, are we prepared? That Taiwan example shows it is important to hope for the best, but to expect the worst.
Earthquake drills conducted in schools are good, but are they enough? We should adjust to what it would be like when power or electricity fails and there is no internet connection. We should not rely on our beloved cell phones but use common sense. Food provisions and medications at home are vital, also emergency supplies like batteries, flashlights, and generators for those who can afford. Torchlights to get the attention of rescue workers are not a bad idea either.
However, the human factor must not be underestimated. People will try to exploit the needs of other people; there may be areas without police forces that can lead to chaos and anarchy. The likelihood of epidemics has to be considered, too.
But we hope that all of this remains in theory and never becomes a reality.
JÜRGEN SCHÖFER, PhD,
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