SOME 66,000 students from all levels in various schools in Baguio will be participating in an earthquake drill Thursday.

The drill is part of the first quarter drill organized by the Office of Civil Defense, said Director Olive Luces.

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It is also part of the continuing awareness campaign of the agency in terms of protecting oneself in times of calamity and disaster, the director added.

Participating students come from both public and private institutions.

Baguio and other parts of Northern Luzon have recently been hit by mild earthquakes.

Following the 1990 earthquake, drills have become a regular part of the agency’s regular disaster management campaign.

According to the website, an earthquake drill in schools involves six components.

These components include the alarm phase, response phase, evacuation phase, assembly phase, head count phase and the evaluation phase.

The alarm phase involves alerting students and staff by a loud warning device, like a school bell.

The response phase involves students getting under their desks and tables, or crouching if there are no available objects that could protect their heads.

The evacuation phase, on the other hand, involves the evacuation of the students and teachers from the buildings when the shaking tops. They must then proceed to pre-determined “safe” areas like open fields.

The drill also involves the assembly phase, wherein grouping of classes together comes in, in preparation for the headcount phase where teachers determine if everyone is present.

“In the event of a real earthquake, a search and rescue team would have to be dispatched to look for those who are missing,” the site stated.

The evaluation phase, meanwhile, identifies problem areas in the conduct of the drill. Procedures are later adopted if improvements need to be done following the conduct of a drill. (Rimaliza Opiña)