By Jel Santos
To test the public’s disaster preparedness, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Friday said this year’s dates of the Metro Manila Shake Drill will not be announced.
The Metro Manila Shake drill is now on its fourth leg.
Jose Arturo Garcia, MMDA general manager, said the only thing that will be certain is that it will transpire at 3 p.m., between second and third week of July.
“The only thing certain is that it will happen at 3 p.m.,’ he said.
“This time, we should all be aware of what we should do. Others just take it as a joke,” he added.
According to MMDA, the rationale of this is that earthquakes are unannounced, so must be the drill.
Ramon Santiago, MMDA consultant, said telcos will send text messages to the public on the day. As such, the broadcast media will also be utilized as well as social media.
“MMDA has coordinated with telecommunication companies, we have agreed that they will send text messages to the public signaling the start of the drill. Bells will also ring in respective cities,” he said.
“We will also announce it using the broadcast media,” he said.
Different scenarios will be staged in different cities, depending on the discretion of local governments.
Meanwhile, the private sector was urged by the agency to put into test their emergency plans.
On the third day of the drill, the MMDA said it will evaluate the preparedness of all participants.
“Their strengths and weaknesses will be identified in order to improve their disaster preparedness,” Santiago said.
There will be four evacuation camps during the drill, namely: North, East, West, and South.
In the North: Veterans Memorial Medical Center; UP Diliman Grounds; and Quezon City Memorial Center
In the East: Marikina Boys Town; Red Cross Compund in Marikina City; Ultra Pasig; and LRT 2 Station Depot in Santolan, Pasig.
Meantime, in the West: Intramuros Golf Course
Lastly, in the South: Villamor Air Base Golf Course in Pasay City.
MMDA said various scenarios will take place in these evacuation camps.