MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced the first metro-wide earthquake drill will be held on July 30 (Thursday) at 10:30 a.m.
MMDA Chairman Atty. Francis Tolentino on Tuesday made the announcement after the Metro Manila Council meeting in Manila.
Tolentino explained that the drill would start after sirens sound the alarm, then offices, schools, malls, hospitals and government employees are expected to participate once the drill starts.
Tolentino noted power and telecommunications wouldn’t be shut down during the earthquake.
The drill is expected to be finished within an hour. Tolentino cited the different earthquake drills done in California and India which only lasted for an hour.
”Sabi ng Phivolcs, ang pinakamatagal sa 7.2 ay 15 minutes. Pero ang kadalasan ang lindol one to two minutes lang, matagal lang yung pagrerescue. Ang inaasahan natin dito yung mga dadalo ay may pre-drill briefing at post drill evaluation. (According to Phivolcs, the longest time for a 7.2 is 15 minutes. But usually, an earthquake only lasts for one to two minutes. What takes time is the rescue. What we are expecting is for the participants to have a pre-drill briefing and post drill evaluation),” Tolentino told the reporters after the MMC meeting.
Meanwhile, Pasig city is set to exercise a night scenario earthquake drill on the same day at 7:30 in the evening. Pasig city mayor Maribel Eusebio told reporters Pasig city is ready to conduct a night time earthquake drill.
Eusebio said Pasig city government bought rescue equipment which can be used especially in the night time to train their rescue teams for any eventualities.
As an early preparation for the metro-wide earthquake drill, the MMDA will conduct a drill to practice Oplan Metro Yakal on Wednesday, June 3 at 4 a.m.
The Oplan Metro Yakal is MMDA’s earthquake contingency plan which focuses on preparedness of government resources and that of private organizations during emergencies.
It is complementary and supportive to the disaster preparedness and response plans of the 17 component local government units (LGUs) of Metro Manila.
Tolentino, together with zone area commander, will conduct simultaneous mock evacuation drills at the Veterans Golf Course for the North Sector composed of cities of Caloocan, Malabon, Valenzuela and Quezon; Villamor Airbase for the South Sector composed of cities of Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Las Piñas and the Municipality of Pateros and Intramuros for the West Sector composed of cities of Navotas, Manila and Pasay.
As part of the drill, Tolentino said rescue teams will also simulate the evacuation of people to temporary evacuation areas in case a strong earthquake hits Metro Manila.
Accompanied by zone area commanders and their warm bodies, the trained rescue teams will conduct simultaneous mock evacuation drills at the Veterans Golf Course for the North Sector, Villamor Airbase for the South Sector, and Intramuros for the West Sector.
Tolentino said the drill is part of the agency’s commitment to ensure disaster preparedness especially during earthquake, using the sectoral grouping as specified in Oplan Metro Yakal.
MMDA employees are required to group themselves according to sectors of their places of residence.