MMDA: Next shake drill to focus on scenarios after the 'Big One'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — To improve preparations for the so-called "Big One," the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is now focusing on emergency scenarios that could happen after a powerful earthquake.

The agency has been holding metro-wide shake drills for two years now, and it believes Filipinos and government agencies are better equipped to survive a strong earthquake caused by the movement in the West Valley Fault.

Read: Second metro-wide quake drill scheduled for June 22

MMDA chair Thomas Orbos said Tuesday the next shake drill might be held in May or June.

"In terms of what to do this year, we're planning to look at post events. What happens after an earthquake," he said. "Hospitals will have to be ready. Blood banks have to be ready. Communication centers... lahat ng mga may helicopters, dapat mag-grupo grupo (all helicopters should be in clusters)."

Orbos said the MMDA will be tapping barangay officials for the upcoming shake drill so they will be equipped in assisting authorities in case of a big earthquake.

"In case of an emergency, a disaster like that, the central authority will have its hands full in looking after the central management of the whole rehabilitation. Therefore... we have to manage the local area and we need to tap the barangay officials for that," he said.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), a 7.2-magnitude earthquake similar to what struck Bohol in 2013 could happen in Metro Manila.

Read: New Phivolcs atlas shows detailed view of quake fault

Dr. Ishmael Narag of Phivolcs Seismology Department said based on a research they conducted in 2010, such a powerful quake will result in the death of over 37,000 people in the capital.

While earthquakes cannot be predicted, Narag said it is important that people prepare for it.