If to compare to weather, this year seemingly has become a season of earthquake. After Bohol last year, this time, a stronger tremor hit Batangas and nearby areas in Manila, and recently in Lanao del Sur that also affected various areas in Mindanao including Davao City. The series of quakes in these scattered areas of the country is something people should be wary about since according to Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), earthquakes cannot be predicted. Coming from an agency which has the authority to speak about earthquake, no one including Phivolcs has the capacity to determine when an earthquake will strike, how strong it is, and what place will it strike next. If Phivolcs could not predict quakes, how much more for ordinary people who have no knowledge about the science of land or sea shakes, yet are overly assumptive in spreading that bigger quakes are to come.
Maybe yes or no, but news articles on the “big one” quake spreading like wildfire is more of irresponsibility both among sources and journalists. Though it somehow cautions the public, but it is more of causing panic and paranoia in progress. By the words itself “ the big one” for the majority is too scary that lead paranoid-prone personalities to act like fools resorting to some customary practices in preparation for what they prophesize as the nearing of the “end of the world”—based on the series of quakes and the baseless prediction of the big one. Mild or strong tremors could be considered as big if to consider the impact of environment degradation and climate change nowadays, thus, too much emphasis on the big one is rather inappropriate and conclusive.
Since disasters like quakes have become a part of life literally, spreading the information on how can one prepare for an earthquake and how to stay safe during an earthquake are the most significant undertakings, instead of promoting the “big one”. More earthquake drills and constant public reminders on the basic things to do and not to do during an earthquake to all sectors are most needed at this time to cushion its impact. These are especially needed in elementary schools both public and private to teach and prepare the kids during an earthquake wherever they are at home or in school. For the adults, avoid being irresponsible like spreading predictions sweepingly thru the social media or text messages. Take note of this reminder from Phivolcs: “Please do not believe messages stating prediction of events, and do not forward any of these.”