Phivolcs assures public Subway Project will not pass through West Valley Fault

  • Phivolcs said the Metro Manila Subway System will not pass through the West Valley Fault
  • The agency made the statement after netizens expressed fears regarding the subway’s route that is aligned with the fault line
  • The West Valley Fault is expected to be a possible source of a powerful earthquake

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) assured that the Metro Manila Subway System project of the government will not pass through the West Valley Fault, which is expected to be a source of a powerful earthquake in a not so distant future.

Phivolcs assurance was made after social media users expressed concerns regarding the route of the subway system, which is aligned with the fault. The netizens’ fears came following a post on Twitter by a foreign journalist – Floyd Whaley – who noticed that part of the planned subway line, particularly the part connecting the Ortigas area in Pasig to Cayetano Boulevard in Taguig, follows the West Valley Fault.

Subway project route and West Valley Fault (Image capture of video from ABS-CBN)

Here are some of the social media users’ concerns regarding the route of the subway system:

  • “And I don’t need to know the JICA FS (Japanese International Cooperation Agency feasibility study) to understand that putting up a subway passing along a fault line can cause a huge risk to the public.”
  • Why build it there in the first place tho? Like, it lines up almost perfectly. Hihintayin pa ba natin na may magfail na engineer? What happened to “better safe than sorry.”
  • Even if you have the best guys to build the subway, why did you align the West Valley to subway route? You trying to kill Filipinos? Nobody is safe sa act of nature/God.”

In an interview with ABS-CBN, Mabel Abigania, a geologist in Phivolcs, said no segment of the subway route passes through the fault line. She said should the West Valley Fault move, the subway structure would be safe from ground rupture.

According to Timothy John Batan, Undersecretary for Railways at Department of Transportation, the agency chose Japan as a developmental partner in constructing the Metro Manila Subway because of their “extensive experience and expertise in designing, building, and operating safe and reliable subway system under seismic conditions that are more challenging than Metro Manila.”

The construction of the subway system is set to commence before the end of the year and is expected to be fully operational in 2025.