Widespread damage and tens of thousands of deaths — that’s what is in store for Manila when an anticipated large earthquake strikes the Philippines, something experts say could happen at any time. The city straddles the West Valley Fault, which is capable of producing earthquakes larger than magnitude 7, officials said. The warning comes just weeks after a massive tremor devastated the South Asian country of Nepal, killing at least 8,500 people and turning villages to rubble. 

Residents of Manila can look up the areas of the city that are most vulnerable to a major quake based on new data released Monday by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, or Phivolcs. Researchers hope the new tool could help local governments better prepare for when “the big one” strikes. “It can happen within our lifetime,” Renato Solidum, Phivolcs’ director, told the Philippine Star. Such concerns have been raised before, but this was the first time detailed maps were produced of the areas likely to suffer the most damage. The earthquake monitoring group said a magnitude 7.2 quake would cause 2.4 trillion Philippine pesos ($54 billion USD) in damages and kill over 37,000 people. FULL REPORT