MANDAUE City has been chosen as Central Visayas’ pilot area for the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for the first quarter of 2020.

Riza Joy Hernandez, Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) 7 information officer, said Mandaue City was selected because it is a highly urbanized city with several high-rise buildings and dense population. The NSED will be held at 2 p.m. on March 12, 2020.

“Kaning pilot area, wa na nagpasabot nga sila ra g’yod pod ang mag drill. Ang kuan lang ana is aron ma highlight nato didto sa ilang locality kung unsay ilang mga actions ug i-test nato unsa ka ready ang maong LGU (Being chosen as pilot area doesn’t mean that they will be the only one undergoing the drill. This is just to highlight what actions the locality will take and how ready they are),” Hernandez said in a forum Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.

NSED, according to the OCD, aims to enhance preparedness through the regular conduct of drills and exercises.

It also seeks to educate the public on disaster preparedness during earthquakes and tests the contingency plans of local disaster risk reduction and management councils.

Karlo Cabahug, planning officer of the Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said the venue for the NSED is the Mandaue City Sports Complex which houses 11 national and local government offices and is adjacent to the Mandaue City College.

Around 500 individuals in Mandaue City are expected to participate in the NSED, he said.

Other establishments such as schools, city halls, and other offices are required to conduct their own drills as well.

During the simulation, emergency responders from the Bureau of Fire Protection in Central Visayas and the Mandaue City Health Office will be asked to assist those who will act as casualties.

On Oct. 15, 2013, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Bohol, Cebu, and nearby provinces. The quake affected not less than 558,390 families or 2,841,956 people. It also damaged 20 bridges in Bohol. (WBS)