NDRRMC holds nationwide-earthquake drill
As a way of re-evaluating government’s response to disasters and assessing its evacuation and response plan, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) conducted the First Quarter Nationwide Earthquake Drill on March 1 at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Simultaneously done in government and non-government offices, and selected schools and establishments around the country, the earthquake drill started at 9 am and featured the Sounding of Alarm, Evacuation Process, Response Phase, and the Courtesy Bow.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Delloso, said that “the earthquake drill is a timely activity and is a means to strengthen capability and enhance awareness on how to respond to a relatively strong calamity, particularly earthquake.” Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Director Dr. Renato U. Solidum said: “that [Feb. 6, 2012 magnitude 6.9 earthquake in Negros] will not be the last… Each region or province in the country could have its own earthquake scenario…Therefore, each region, province, and community in the Philippines must prepare, and continue doing this earthquake drill.”
Visualizing a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that would cause Metro Manila a widespread devastation, the drill also highlighted the procedures that the response groups use in times of disasters and the static display of equipment and capacities of the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and Air Responses, National Development Support Command, CGEA Station Hospital and Fire Station, Philippine Navy, National Capital Region Command, NDRRMC Emergency Operations Center, Bureau of Fire Protection, and AFP Reserve Command.
DND Secretary and NDRRMC Chairperson Voltaire Gazmin commended the Bayanihan spirit and unity among the national and local government units and volunteer groups who took part in showcasing the Philippine survival and safety measures as reflected in the drill.
The earthquake drill, which is part of the NDRRMC’s four-point plan on disaster preparedness specifically on public information, education, communication and disaster response, has been conducted quarterly since 2006.