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Is your house earthquake-resistant?

As a public service and awareness effort, P.A. Properties shares with you the 12-point checklist developed by DOST-PHIVOLCS, JICA, and other agencies to self-assess your house for quake readiness


MODERN TECHNOLOGY. P.A. Properties, the 23-year-old real estate developer is known for delivering affordable, beautiful, and sturdy houses.

Prepare for the “Big One” – this is the constant reminder of authorities to the public, as the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault is ripe for another earthquake that could hit Metro Manila, with an anticipated magnitude of 7.2.

The fault line, which runs from Bulacan to Laguna, last moved in 1658. If the public is caught unprepared, the expected “Big One” could leave up to 48,000 deaths in Metro Manila and nearby cities, a study by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) showed.

In preparation for such, and in light of the July 6, 2017 magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit parts of the Visayas, and the 27th anniversary of the July 16, 1990 Luzon killer quake, coordinated efforts of different government agencies are in full swing, like the Metro Manila-wide earthquake drill on Friday, June 14, and the following simulations on July 15 to 17 in different local government units.

As a public service and to help spread awareness, P.A. Properties, the 23-year-old real estate developer known for delivering affordable, beautiful, and sturdy houses, and which uses modern technology (like cast-in-place) in building the Filipinos’ dream home,  shares with you “How Safe is My House?” a self-check for earthquake safety of concrete hollow block (CHB) houses in the Philippines.

Features of an earthquake-resistant house

The evaluation is initially intended for 1- to 2-storey CHB houses, one of the most common types of houses in the Philippines.  The evaluation can also be used for structures like small shops, offices, garages, and the like. “It will help the house owners of this type to evaluate their houses by themselves and to understand the likely behavior of their houses during a strong earthquake,” PHIVOLCS stated in the self-check.

Following are a couple of recommendations cited in the self-check:

  • According to PHIVOLCS, an earthquake-resistant CHB house will not collapse in the event of an intensity 9 earthquake.
  • A house designed and built by authorized people has a higher chance of not collapsing because they are expected to follow the National Building Code and the National Structural Code of the country.
  • If your house is built in 1992 onward, it is more earthquake-ready as more earthquake resistance standards were introduced to the codes on that year.
  • A regular-shaped house like box-type or rectangular behave better during strong ground shaking. If the house is irregularly-shaped, chances are it will be twisted, with its different parts moving in various ways.
  • It is also noted that supervised expansion or extension of your CHB house leads to safer and stronger structures.
  • The use of standard 6” CHB for external walls produces more stable and stronger structures.
  • If the steel bars are embedded in CHB walls, concrete columns, floors, and foundation, such resist the impact of ground shaking.
  • Walls wider than 3 meters must have perpendicular walls or supports to prevent collapse in a strong ground shaking.
  • Well-reinforced and well-anchored CHBs or light materials are recommended for your CHB house’s gable wall.
  • Rock or stiff-soil provides better support.

Self-check for earthquake safety

The earthquake awareness material was released in February 2014 by PHIVOLCS of the Department of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the association of Structural Engineers of the Philippines (ASEP) under the JICA – Japan Science and Technology (JST) Project on the “Enhancement of Earthquake and Volcano Monitoring and Effective Utilization of Disaster Mitigation Information in the Philippines.”

“This test shall lead to a more detailed assessment with assistance from building experts for what the house owners need to know about their house, allay their fears and confusion, and learn what to do thereafter,” PHIVOLCS noted.

The following are the 12 points to check if your CHB house is earthquake-resistant:



 

Source: “How Safe is My House?” Self-check for earthquake safety of Concrete Hollow Block Houses in the Philippines by DOST-PHIVOLCS, JICA, JST, ASEP

 

Employing preventive measures such as cited in the self-check, plus having a “safety first” mindset are musts, thus it is important to observe the state of our house over time, PHIVOLCS noted.

“Regular house maintenance must be done to prevent deteriorations like sagging roof, chipped-off plasters, and cracks on [the] walls,” PHIVOLCS cited.

For the full copy of the self-help check, click here.

 

About P.A. Properties:

For 23 years, Laguna-based P.A. Alvarez Properties and Development Corporation established itself a name in the competitive Philippine real estate industry by enabling the public to have their dream homes at affordable rates and payment schemes. The company, which has already built more than 17,000 housing units, continues to embark on strategic expansion efforts to further build 15,000 more housing units in the next five years, thereby creating comfortable, safe, and joyful Filipino communities.

To know more about P.A. Properties, visit:

https://www.paproperties.com.ph/

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