By Francis Wakefield
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Metro Manila DRRM Council conducted the 1st Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on Wednesday.
NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, said thousands of individuals, groups and organizations from the various sectors at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, Quezon City — the ceremonial venue — performed the duck, cover and hold at exactly 2 p.m. as an initial response to a strong ground shaking caused by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake scenario.
Jalad said this was derived from the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), identifying potentially strong and destructive earthquakes along the West Valley Fault on the eastern side of Metro Manila and Manila Trench on the western side of Metro Manila.
“As part of the National Council’s continuing campaign for earthquake resilience, the NSED is conducted quarterly not only as a display of response capacities among Local Government Units (LGUs) but also as a way to test existing plans as well as strengthen interoperability among assisting regions,” Jalad said.
During the earthquake drill, Quezon City tested their contingency plan for earthquake showcasing various scenarios namely: evacuation involving high density population, collapse structure search and rescue, fire suppression, hospital surge, and camp management. In addition to the scenarios, communications interoperability among the MMDRRMC Emergency Operations Center, Quezon City Commo Center and OCD Region I was tested.
NDRRMC Chairperson and Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana graced the event and led the ceremonial pressing of the button together with NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec Ricardo B Jalad, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Constantine M Bautista, DOST DRR and Climate Change Usec. Renato U Solidum, Jr., DILG OIC Usec.Eduardo M Año and MMDRRMC Chairperson and MMDA Chairman Danilo Delapuz Lim.
“We encourage our people to regularly participate in our drills so that they can build their preparedness to earthquake hazards, not just here in Metro Manila but across these islands,” Lorenzana said.
Local drills were conducted nationwide through the OCD Regional Offices. The other pilot areas: OCD Region I-Municipality of Badoc, Ilocos Norte; II – Cabatacan East Elementary School and Cabatacan National High School, Lasam, Cagayan; III -Municipal Hall, Norzagaray, Bulacan; IV-A -Brgy Ithan, Binangonan, Rizal; MIMAROPA -Nabuslot National High School, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro; V-Sorsogon City, Sorsogon; VI-SM City Iloilo, Iloilo City; VII -Brgy Paknaan, Mandaue City; VIII- Borongan City, Eastern Samar; IX- St Joseph College Inc., Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte; X-Misamis Occidental National High School; XI-Davao CityTreatment and Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents, Davao City; XII -Notre Dame Village, Cotabato City; CARAGA-Nasipit Municipality, Agusan Norte; ARMM-Datu Paglas National High School, Datu Paglas, Maguindanao; NCR- NATIONAL PILOT AREA: Quezon City Memorial Circle; and CAR-St Louis University, Baguio City.