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The Philippine capital is woefully unprepared for a major earthquake that could hit at any time and kill tens of thousands of people, flattening nearly half the city's homes, experts warn.

The capital, Manila, sits on a massive fault line, and there are concerns the city's infrastructure would not be able to withstand a quake.

Authorities in the Philippines have been anxiously looking at the vulnerabilities of Manila, a megalopolis of more than 12 million people, following the devastating earthquakes to hit Japan and New Zealand.

Like those countries, the Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire - a belt around the Pacific area dotted by active volcanoes and tectonic trenches. And heavily populated urban areas on the Philippines' main island of Luzon, including Manila, sit on or near at least four fault systems.

Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies