#MMShakeDrill: QC hospital tests earthquake readiness
MANILA, Philippines – At 10:30 AM on July 30, sirens blared at the Veteran's Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City. People went to the ground, took cover and evacuated to safety. But this was not a real earthquake. It was part of the Metro Manila-wide Shake Drill organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority. (READ: FAQ: What's #MMShakeDrill and how can you participate?)
VMMC was chosen as the staging ground for the drill to simulate how hospitals should respond in case an earthquake strikes. It lies in the north quadrant, one of the four areas in Metro Manila expected to be isolated by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, according to a scientific study.
Teams from the MMDA, Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MMDRMC), the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office all participated in the drill. They set up evacuation sites and relief goods distribution areas.
Rebecca Manansala, 42, of Barangay Pag-asa in Quezon City was one of the volunteers who participated in the drill. She joined the drill to be able to "experience" how to respond to an earthquake with her family.
"Nag-volunteer ako sa barangay namin para alam ko ang gagawin kapag may drill. Nakakatuwa naman dahil maganda ang naging partisipasyon ng mga tao, mga kapitbahay ko dito sa drill sa Veterans," she said. (I volunteered in our barangay so that I will know what to do when a real earthquake happens. I'm glad because many people, especially my neighbors, joined the drill here in Veterans).
Rating the drill
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista provided an initial assesment of the city's response during the drill: "I think on daytime, we can see, we are 8 out of 10 (being the highest) is it not? We cannot really say. We have yet to assess. We cannot say if Quezon City is really prepared especially if the earthquake hits during the evening."
Various youth organizations, volunteers, and the staff of NYC participated in the drill conducted by Morong Volunteers Emergency Response Team (MVERT) and Volunteers in Case of Emergency (VICE).
MVERT and VICE taught NYC officials, staff and volunteers the following skills:
- How to locate the hazards and the risks in the building
- How and where to exit
- How to administer basic medical treatments such as applying gauze to injuries
- How to properly handle victims who are severely injured
NYC officials and staff led by Dantes brought "injured" victims to VMMC as part of their simulated drill.
The NYC has pushed for the inclusion of youth representatives in all disaster councils at the national and local level. "Importante para sa kabataan na maging handa sa disaster lalo na sa 7.1 magnitude earthquake na maaring tumama sa Metro Manila," Dantes said on the youth's role in disaster preparedness. (It's important for the youth to be ready for a disaster, especially if a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hits Metro Manila.)
The Metro-wide earthquake drill concluces the National Disaster Consciousness Month as per Executive Order (E.O.) 137 s. 1999 which mandates the month of July as disaster consciousness month. – with reports from Justine Hernandez/Rappler.com