Nationwide quake drill held

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


THE Davao City and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council conducted an earthquake drill in various areas here in the region on Wednesday, which was part of the nationwide drill.

The OCD led the conduct of the "First Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill" at Sta. Ana Central Elementary School in Davao City as the ceremonial venue.

Other government and non-government offices, selected schools, and establishments in other parts of the country also conducted the same.

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OCD regional director retired Brigadier Gen. Loreto G. Rirao said the drill was made following the instruction of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to undertake the precautionary measures and monitor the situation in its area of responsibility.

The earthquake drill, which has been conducted since 2006, is part of the NDRRMC's four-point plan on disaster preparedness, specifically in public information, education, communication and disaster response.

The earthquake drill which started at 9 a.m. featured the sounding of alarm, evacuation process, response phase, and the courtesy bow.

It also highlighted a communication exercise with the disaster risk reduction management council to check its communication system and corresponding response from all concerned agencies.

Visualizing a magnitude-6.7 earthquake with a fire scenario as a scondary hazard, the drill was successful conducted all over Davao Region with thousands of participants.

Rirao said the drill aimed to ensure the readiness of the people in case of disasters like storms, floods, landslides, and earthquakes, among the others.

He added that the drill served as a lesson for the community, children, and other institutions, on how to take precautionary measures during emergency.

"As to why Sta. Ana Central Elementary School has been chosen as venue for the earthquake drill, it's because of the factors like the area where the school was placed is, in fact, below the sea level and is vulnerable to disaster. The school must know what measures to take during disasters," Rirao said.

Other institutions that participated during the earthquake drills in Davao City were Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Elementary School, John Paul II College of Davao, and Baptist Seminary School. There were hospitals and government and non-government agencies that participated in the drill.

The earthquake drill was also conducted at the Department of Public Works and Highways in Davao Oriental, National Comprehensive High School in Compostela Valley, Island Garden City of Samal and the Capitol in Davao del Norte Province, and United Sugar Cane Planters in Davao del Sur.

"It's not that we're praying for something bad to happen but we expect a disaster in the second quarter based in our monitoring, na huwag naman sanang mangyari. So, with this drill, expect the unexpected. I'm encouraging everybody to continue to prepare," Rirao said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 20, 2014.

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