'#MMShakeDrill is almost real'
MANILA, Philippines – “Makatotohanan.” (Almost real.)
This was how Colonel Geruncio Ilagan, East Quadrant Commander of the Metropolitan Manila Development Autority (MMDA), described this year’s #MMShakeDrill on Wednesday, June 22.
Ilagan said that the success of this year’s drill was anchored on the participation of both the public and private sectors. This year, he said, the participation of private and business sector increased. Even residents of private subdivisions and villages, which are normally hard to convince, took part in the drill.
“’Yan ay mga mahirap kumbinsihin noong araw, pero ngayon makikita ninyo na ultimo mga high end subdivision ay nakikiisa na rin sa mga gawaing kagaya nito,” Ilagan said. (Those areas are hard to convince back in the day, but now you will see that even high-end subdivisions are taking part in activities like this.)
The high turnout of participants indicated that the residents are now aware of the dangers that may happen during disasters and that the only way to avoid casualty is to participate in these drill and to “always be ready.”
The MMDA, in partnership with Rappler, spearheaded the #MMShakeDrill, which aims to prepare the residents of Metro Manila for a possible 7.2-magnitude earthquake should the West Valley Fault move.
It also took place on the same day as the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill, dubbed online as #Pagyanig, initiated by the Office of Civil Defense, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and partner organizations.
The volunteers in the LRT Line 2 Depot in Santolan included the Samson Family of Calumpang, Marikina, who had 30 family members participating in the drill.
Violy, a mother from the Samson family said that there are two reasons their famiy joined the drill: so they will know where to go and what to do, and for them to experience the scenarios that may happen should an earthquake strike.
Her son Percy acted as a victim who lost consciousness but was still breathing during the drill. Rescuers performed resuscitation process on him while some other family members were given first aid by responders.
Ilagan said that two months before the drill, the MMDA conducted consultative meetings with the all 1,906 barangays to consult regarding the drill.
In a workshop conducted on June 17 by MMDA and MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm, chief Mon Santiago of MMDA's flood control information center said that, should a 7.2-magnitude earthquake occur in Metro Manila, low-lying and residential areas would be be greatly affected.
The West Valley Fault, the 100-kilometer active fault that is expected to generate a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, traverses 57 subdivisions or residential villages.
Control on the east
The LRT Line 2 Depot served as the Emergency Operations Center of the East Quadrant (Marikina and Pasig), where the unit heads gathered after the 9 am signal rang. Ilagan held a staff meeting shortly after to discuss the scenarios and the plan of action to be taken.
In the EOC, the MMDA set up a huge LED screen to monitor the entire east quadrant. They also had a public address system where they announced the scenarios happening in the quadrant and what was going on inside and outside the depot.
Among the scenarios mentioned in the PA system were the collapse of SM Marikina, looting incidents at the Marikina Riverbank Center and in Barangka, and the breaking of pipelines in Pasig. – Rappler.com
Adrian Jimenea, a Communication and Media student at the University of the Philippines Visayas, is a Rappler intern.