Makati vulnerable to Taal eruption – study

The countrys commercial capital is at risk because of floods, earthquakes and minor landslides caused by typhoons and volcanic eruption from Taal Volcano, according to a World Bank study released Thursday.

The study, Green Cities Workshop: Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change Impacts and Related Natural Disasters in Asia, said Makati City is vulnerable to typhoons that are frequently produced in the Pacific Ocean.

Makati is located in the central part of the metropolitan region with an area of 27.36 square kilometers, which is only 4.3 percent of the total area of Metro Manila. At night, the citys population is around 500,000, but the number swells to about 3.7 million during the daytime when people come to work or transact business in that city.

The high floating population is unprecedented and contributes to the very high risk of the city to different disasters, the World Bank reported.

Makati City also has high seismic hazard risk with the West Valley fault passing near the eastern parts of the city. There are several other faults that could produce large earthquakes affecting the whole of Metro Manila.

The city is also prone to widespread flooding during the rainy season due to an inadequate drainage system, the study added.

Plus, the World Bank said Makati experiences minor landslides in some locations and has slight vulnerability to volcanic eruption from Taal Volcano, located 60 kilometers away, south of Metro Manila.

The city is also experiencing environmental degradation due to increase in air pollution. Since Makati has an active economic sector, both industrial activities as well as vehicular traffic contribute to the citys pollution. The city feels that the level of pollution may reduce its competitiveness as a destination of regional business, and is striving to reduce pollution levels, according to the study.

But the study also said the city has exhibited proactive leadership in addressing the various environment-related problems.

In 2006, local officials created the Environmental Protection Council of Makati City to boost its capabilities to dealing with potential environmental disasters.

Makati also aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent between 2003 and 2010. The city feels that the [high] level of pollution may reduce its competitiveness as a destination of regional business and is striving to reduce pollution levels, World Bank said.

The study warned that many of East Asias cities could undercut recent economic progress in the region owing to disaster caused by climate change.

Darwin G. Amojelar
Manila Times

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