Duck, cover, hold! NDRRMC holds nationwide earthquake drill on Nov. 11

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) urged the public to participate in the this year's fourth quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on November 11.

Residents and employees in Manila participate at a metro-wide earthquake drill on July 14, 2017. (Korbin Gumpal)

NDRRMC Exxecutive Director Ricardo Jalad said Sunday, Oct. 24, that the earthquake drill next month will be held virtually and livestreamed around 8 a.m. at the social media pages of Office of Civil Defense (Civil Defense PH) and NDRRMC.

"The NDRRMC once again calls on the public to continue participating in NSED and in other national and community-based preparedness activities and programs to strengthen capacities to respond to earthquake and other hazards," Jalad said.

Meanwhile, a disaster preparedness webinar and tabletop and communication exercises will be conducted on Nov. 9 and 10, respectively. This will be attended by officials of Zambales provincial DRRMC and Central Luzon regional DRRMC as part of the NSED.

Last Sept. 16, the NDRRMC held the third quarter online NSED which was joined by various organizations from government offices, private sector, academe, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and the general public with a recorded peak of around 57,000 viewers.

The NSED is held quarterly to prepare the public for the possible effects of a strong earthquake, particularly the "Big One." It is a worst case scenario of an earthquake from the West Valley Fault, a 100-kilometer fault that runs through six cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

The NSED in previous years included face-to-face simulations of earthquake scenarios but the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic forced the government to hold it virtually.

"The NDRRMC continues to engage the public to build earthquake preparedness as it holds the fourth quarter NSED next month. The upcoming NSED will be the sixth online earthquake drill since the third quarter last year," Jalad said.