Authorities set stage for second #MMShakeDrill
MANILA, Philippines - How prepared are the residents of Metro Manila in the event that a 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes?
This is the question that authorities hope to answer, as preparations begin for the 2nd Metro Manila Shakedrill also known online as #MMShakeDrill, which will be held on June 22. (READ: All you need to know about preparing for earthquakes)
The second quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill will also take place at the same time. (READ: #Pagyanig: NDRRMC holds nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill)
These concurrent exercises simulate movement of the West Valley Fault and its subsequent effects, such as ground shaking, loss of power and communications, fires, and disruption of transportation networks. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault moves?)
Preparedness is local
“This is a very, very significant activity,” stressed Undersecretary Alexander Pama, Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), at a briefing held with business representatives at the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) headquarters.
“Everything we are doing is based on parameters and plans,” said the civil defense administrator.
"We should start leveling-up organizational experiences. We are trying to avoid ‘unorganized confusion’, leading up to ‘systemic chaos’. All disasters are local," emphasized Pama.
The #MMShakeDrill seeks to test the effectivity of existing government response plans, and the interoperability of all agencies and units involved in such a complex emergency.
This year, in accordance with the updated plan, Oplan Metro Yakal Plus, the response plans and capabilities of nearby regions and provinces will also be tested.
Community-based disaster risk reduction
“(We) emphasize the part that all members of the community should know what to do in case of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake," observed MMDA Chairman Emerson Carlos, who also heads the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, which is in charge of metro-wide disaster management and response.
Under the law, LGUs take charge over incidents to the best of their ability and capability, escalating requests for assistance and equipment to higher authority as may be necessary
“We really had a large participation,” said MMDA’s Mon Santiago, chief of the Flood Control Information Center, referring to last year's #MMShakeDrill.
“Perception was not just locally but also internationally. Activity generated a certain level of interest…(we were) requested by provinces to work out their own drills."
"This is an opportunity to expand, enhance further our individual, organizational, and institutional response plans, and an opportunity to test whether what we have laid down in our plans will really work for this scenario," said Santiago. (READ: 12-point checklist for an earthquake-ready house)
“Do not forget to Duck, Cover, and Hold,” reminded Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), who advised commercial establishments to take note of existing geohazards.
“You have to prepare for those,” cautioned Solidum, who asked retailers and business representatives if they had contingency plans on what to do with food and medicine inventories that are trapped under collapsed structures. – Rappler.com