Scary! Some old buildings in Bacolod found vulnerable to strong quakes

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Up to 30 percent of buildings in Bacolod City are in danger of collapsing if an earthquake similar to the magnitude-6.7 tremblor that hit Surigao earlier this month occurs there.

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Executive Assistant Jose Maria Vargas said these buildings are in the downtown area, and may not be stable enough to withstand strong temblors.

Vargas added buildings 15 or more years old in the downtown area can sustain major cracks in case of quakes – or collapse in cases of magnitude-6 or greater quakes, The Daily Guardian reported.

“It is one of the most problematic areas in case of possible earthquake,” Vargas said, referring to buildings in the downtown area.

As early as 2013, he said his office had sent notices to building owners to repair their structures soonest, but to no avail.

But he added key buildings, including the New Government Center, can withstand a magnitude-6 quake.

Despite this, Vargas said Bacolod City is one of the safest areas in Negros Island Region as it is far from the five fault lines in the Negros island area.