Thousands participate in the 3rd nationwide earthquake drill
MANILA, Philippines – How ready is Southern Luzon in case of a strong earthquake?
At exactly 2 pm, representatives from the Office of Civil Defense and the local government of Bacoor, Cavite pressed the ceremonial button marking the start of the 3rd National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on Wednesday, September 27.
"Number one na tinitingnan natin dito ay kahandaan ng iba pang lokalidad na may pagbabanta ng isang malakas na pagyanig. 'Yung dulo ng West Valley Fault ay nandyan sa probinsya ng Cavite kaya napakahalaga na magkaroon sila ng paghahanda para dito," National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Mina Marasigan said in an interview with Rappler. (The number one factor we are looking into is the preparedness of other localities in case of a strong earthquake. The end of the West Valley Fault is here in Cavite so it is important that they are prepared for this)
From Luzon to Mindanao, thousands of participants from the government, private sector, non-government organizations, academe, and individuals performed the duck, cover, and hold technique for the regular nationwide drill led by the NDRRMC.
This is the 3rd quarter edition of the drill, which is regularly organized by the NDRRMC to ensure that the public – from the barangay to the national government – knows how to respond to earthquakes. The first and second nationwide earthquake drills this year were held in Cebu and Davao respectively. (READ: Earthquake tips: what to do before, during, and after)
The goal of the activity is to test the preparedness of individuals, groups, and the government in case of a strong earthquake.
"We haven't reached the 100% [preparedness] yet. But what is important is that we are getting there. More local government units and more communities are supporting our disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts. Hopefully, when the time comes, we can say that we are really prepared and we are now moving towards the Philippine resilience that we are targeting," Marasigan added.
This widespread support which Marasigan cited became evident in the social media activity referring to the earthquake drill. A little past 2 pm on Wednesday, the #BidaAngHanda, official hashtag for the activity, trended nationwide on Twitter as individuals and groups shared how they participated in the earthquake drill on social media.
A 2004 study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), showed that the movement of the West Valley Fault could trigger a strong earthquake, destroying up to 40% of the buildings in the metropolis. The same study also estimated that death toll from the strong earthquake may climb up to 30,000.
Below are some photos of the drill nationwide:
The earthquake drill was rescheduled to Wednesday after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended all government work and classes on September 21, declaring it as "national day of protest' in observance of the 45th year of the Martial Law declaration.
Did you join the earthquake drill? Share your photos using #BidaAngHanda! – Rappler.com