EVALUATION OF THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF EVACUATION CENTERS IN METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES
In a densely populated and hazard-prone megalopolis like Metro Manila, the ability to execute a rapid evacuation protocol is crucial in saving lives and minimizing the damage during disastrous events. However, there is no centralized database on the location of evacuation centers (ECs) in Metro Manila and the available lists are not up-to-date. This study geotagged the current list of ECs in Metro Manila obtained from different government agencies to evaluate the spatial distribution using Geographical Information System (GIS). This is important since the immediate evacuation of residents depends on the proximity and safe location of the ECs. A total of 870 ECs were geo-tagged and validated using the street view of Google EarthTM. EC-to-population ratios were calculated for each of the 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila. Values range from ~3,000 to 81,000 persons per EC. Distance analysis using Thiessen Polygon shows that the ECs are not evenly distributed with proximity areas ranging from 0.0009 to 9.5 km2. Out of the total number of mapped ECs, 392 (45%) are situated in flood-prone areas while 108 (12%) are within the 1-km buffer hazard zone of an active faultline. Re-evaluation of the locations and the number of ECs per city or municipality is highly recommended to facilitate prompt evacuation when disasters strike.