Evaluators score Cagayan Valley quake drill participants ‘not ready’
CAGAYAN, Philippines – Evaluators of the 2nd national simultaneous earthquake drill, dubbed online as #Pagyanig, in Cagayan Valley were disappointed by the “lack of preparedness” of the drill participants at the regional center of the Department of the Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday, June 22.
The evaluator head, SF02 Ronnie Gaddao from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) scored the employees of the DPWH a 5/10, meaning they are unprepared should a strong earthquake strike.
The DPWH building was the center of the nationwide earthquake drill in the province, according to one of the evaluators Jenifer Baquiran-Junio.
According to Gaddao, the participants did not take the drill seriously.
"They really scored 'not ready' because based on our assessment and evaluation form, they should have taken this seriously. Even if it’s not an actual earthquake, they should have (paid more) attention because lives are at stake here," Gaddao told Rappler when asked of the “not ready” score of the participants.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) conducted the nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill to test the preparedness plans and readiness of local government units.
The nationwide activity coincided with the #MMShakeDrill, a metro-wide earthquake drill in the capital region spearheaded by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Several secondary schools in the province participated in the drill, including the Cagayan National High School, the province's premiere high school.
‘No materials, equipment’
According to Gaddao, proper materials and rescue equipment were not used.
Important vehicles for rescue operatoins such as fire trucks and ambulances, for example, were not used during the drill.
Employees maintained that they have rescue and medical teams deployed. But Gaddao noted that they were not easily recognizable.
Evaluators also noted that they didn’t see anyone using ladders or rescue vests, unlike in Metro Manila where the scenarios seemed real. Gaddao also observed that participants failed to practice the duck, cover, and hold routine properly. Specifically, some participants did the routine at uncovered or unsafe areas in the building.
Participants were able to evacuate the building in just 1 minute, which according to evaluators, was not realistic.
Evaluators also said that there were no organized rescue and evacuation team, no first aid team, no security team for possible looters, no fire brigade team, and no evacuation area.
Employees explained that they were alerted that it was a “full-blown” simulation. – Rappler.com