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Ullal, Jashwin Benedict C.

BSCE-201210774

CEC423-V41
Engr. Ma. Eliza U. Cruz
Reaction Paper for GroundZero.PH

Last Thursday, January 28, 2015, the Junior Philippine Institute of Civil EngineersLungsod ng Maynila (JPICE-LNM) Chapter conducted its annual National Symposium entitled
GroundZero.PH: Aware, Adapt, Advance at the SM Cinema Sta. Mesa. Overall, the intention
of this symposium is to spread awareness on the talk about the Big One in the Philippines.
It aimed to orient the Civil Engineering students who have attended the seminar, on how to
reduce the risk, to manage and to be prepared for the possible earthquake in the
Philippines, specifically in Metro Manila which is believed to be a fatal one. For the Afternoon
session, three speakers were present to give their lectures namely: Mr. Jeffrey Perez, Engr.
Darios Vallejos, and Engr. Nina Mestidio.
Mr. Jeffrey J. Perez, a geological consultant and a PHIVOLCS representative, discussed the
Earthquake Hazard and Risk Scenario for Greater Metro Manila Area. His discussion lasted
for an hour. The discussion included on how Philippines became prone to many natural
hazards due to its geological setup. Moreover, the discussion also included the origins of
earthquake and the records of the most devastating earthquakes in Metro Manila. A case
study was also presented which showed the difference of an engineered house versus a
house which do not comply to any code requirements. Results showed that an engineered
house is far better to perform when an earthquake hits rather than a house which do not
follow even the basics of building code. Another case study presented was how an
earthquake can damage a structure and how several structures in Metro Manila withstood
the largest earthquakes from the previous centuries such as the Manila Cathedral. Due to
the geological setting of the Philippines, a large earthquake from the west valley fault can
significantly affect Metro Manila and the vicinity. He also mentioned that around 33,000
casualties are expected to occur on Metro Manila alone once the West Valley Fault moves,
which is known as the Big One. The estimate is expected to increase once the Manila Trench
moves which will cause a Tsunami, ranging from the Roxas Boulevard up to Taft, Manila.
There is an expected power outage and is anticipated that people, even government
officials, will live on separately or individually for 3 days. Mr. Perez ended his talk with a
reminder that disaster preparedness is everyones business and anyone can be a victim if
he/she does not prepare. During the open forum, a student from TIP-Manila asked the safety
of the structures such as the Mall of Asia (MOA)and the Skyway from the Big One. Mr. Perez
replied that as a geological consultant, he wouldnt consider MOA as a safe place and
refugee once the earthquake hits, due to the fact that the structure might fail either through
Tsunami or through liquefaction. As for the Skyway, he mentioned that the recent Skyway
which is currently under construction has been designed to adapt with the Big One. While
Skyway 1 has just been rehabilitated, although its most vulnerable section when the Big
One occurs is between N44 and N45.
Engr. Darios Vallejos, an Avionics and Electronics Engineer from the Office of the Civil
Defense under the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC),
talked about how to act whenever there is an Earthquake. As an earthquake drill reviewer,
he showed many tips regarding what to do whenever there is an earthquake, especially
when you are at home or when you are in school. He warned everybody regarding on how
react whenever a fire has been caused by an LPG tank. His talk lasted for 30 minutes which
ended with an encouragement to participate seriously in Earthquake Drills and be alert for
the Big One can occur anytime soon since the West Valley Fault is very ripe as of the
moment. During the open forum, students asked on whether NDRRMC is open to programs
coming from Student organizations regarding the earthquake safety and spreading the
awareness of it. He agreed to it and stressed that youth nowadays can be of greater help in
repacking relief goods from DSWD warehouses.
Lastly, Engr. Nina Mestidio, a UST Civil Engineering Batch 2013 alumni, former faculty, and a
structural Engineer in Geohazard Structural Earthquake Engineering Design (GEOSEED)
Consultants, tackled the Earthquake Engineering in the Philippine Context. As a structural
engineer who was heavily-involved in different seismic and geohazards studies and
liquefaction analysis in the Philippines, Engr. Mestidio discussed Earthquake Engineering
based from the provisions of NSCP. She shared that Palawan has been categorized as a Zone
2 area under the Seismic Zones, due to the fact that it was included in a separate plate from
the Philippine Plate. Basically, a plate China and Palawan shared in common. This plate is

Ullal, Jashwin Benedict C.


BSCE-201210774

CEC423-V41
Engr. Ma. Eliza U. Cruz

Reaction Paper for GroundZero.PH


proven to be more sturdy than the plate where Philippines rests. She also provided step by
step discussions on the different criteria being considered in designing a structure against
earthquake from static analysis up to dynamic analysis, again based from the NSCP.
Moreover, she made an example of a case study that her company did which involved a
project that has a soil characteristic of Sf. She discussed what site-specifications different
geotechnical tests that are being done in order for the engineers to come up to a conclusion
that the soil being tested is under the Sf category. Results showed that the structural period
and soil period must not be the same in order for the building not to collapse on the earlier
stage of an earthquake. She also introduced the method of base isolation as one of the
solutions being used in todays earthquake engineering.