MANILA, Philippines – On June 22, 2016, Metro Manila residents will participate in a metro-wide earthquake drill, as part of the 2nd quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED). This is only the second time the drill will be conducted.
All local government units in Metro Manila, along with the nearby provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, will take part in the drill, which will be coordinated by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and various local government units and agencies.
The drill aims to increase awareness and prepare everyone in the event a 7.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Metro Manila. Scientists predict a major movement of the West Valley Fault could occur within our lifetimes.
(READ: How vulnerable is Manila to earthquakes?)
Preparation is key
Everyone can and should participate in the earthquake drill, according to the organizers. Since the drill will be held at the same time as a nationwide earthquake drill, even those outside of Metro Manila can join.
Rappler’s disaster risk reduction arm, Agos powered by eBayanihan, has prepared a list of answers to some frequently asked questions:
What is the Metro Manila ShakeDrill?
The Metro Manila ShakeDrill (#MMShakeDrill) is a metro-wide earthquake drill. It aims to promote a culture of preparedness among Metro Manila residents for a possible 7.2 magnitude movement of the West Valley Fault.
It is organized by the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC) and managed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), and other agencies and stakeholders.
When will it happen, and how do we know it is starting?
The ShakeDrill will be conducted on June 22, Wednesday at 9:00 AM in Metro Manila. It will be held at the same time as the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill.
At 9:00 AM, radio stations will sound the earthquake alarm which will signal the start of the drill. Your company, church, school, or institution may also sound their own alarms or bells.
Everyone in Metro Manila should participate in the drill. Since the ShakeDrill is designed to simulate an unexpected 7.2-magnitude earthquake, everyone will be affected, wherever they are.
The Metro Manila ShakeDrill has been coordinated with the barangays, government agencies, hospitals, businesses, schools, BPOs, mall operators, safety and security practitioners, and the religious sector in order to ensure the widest participation.
What should we do at 9:00 AM?
If you are at the office, at school, or inside a building, once the signal starts at 9:00 AM, perform the duck, cover, and hold maneuver for 45 seconds. After that, evacuate your building to a safe open area.
If you are in your vehicle, stop your car and keep away from structures that are likely to fall, such as billboards and power lines. (READ: Earthquake tips for drivers)
What if I’m at home at 9:00 AM?
If you are at home, perform the duck, cover and hold for 45 seconds. You don’t have to evacuate your house. Just know where the nearest barangay evacuation center is located. Have your emergency bag on hand.
Prepare and implement your family evacuation procedure. Check for fire and be aware. Know where your family members are, and check your house and surroundings for cracks and structural defects. (READ: Preparing your family for an earthquake)
What if I’m on the road by 9:00 AM?
The MMDA traffic constables will signal the start of the Shake Drill by holding up EARTHQUAKE DRILL signs. All vehicles are expected to stop for 1 minute, except for vehicles on and below flyovers and tunnels which need to keep moving to avoid these structural hazards. Traffic lights on the major roads will flash for 1 minute as well. (READ: Earthquake tips for drivers)
Are public services going to be disrupted on June 22?
No, all public services will be operational on June 22.
The point of the ShakeDrill is to simulate the earthquake on a normal day, where people will be where they normally are.
Will the power, telephone, and internet lines be cut off?
No. There will be no metro-wide disruption of power or communication lines.
It is up to the discretion of individual companies, schools, institutions, or barangays if they will simulate these circumstances in your respective areas.
How about the trains?
The MRT and LRT lines will be stopping at 9:00 am for only 1 minute. Only one train along the LRT Line 1 Central Station will have a rescue scenario.
However, in a real earthquake situation, train commuters should follow these tips and instructions.
(READ: Earthquake tips for train commuters)
What will emergency response teams be doing during the drill?
A composite team of MMDA, MMDRRMC, PNP, AFP, and the local DRRMOs of LGUs will be staging simulated earthquake response scenarios, and setting up evacuation sites at their respective quadrants and local government jurisdictions.
An integrated command center will be set up at the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, which will be linked up with the NDRRMC command post at the AFP Grandstand, also at Camp Aguinaldo.
Where are the evacuation centers?
City and barangay officials will take the lead in providing evacuation centers for their residents.
The following locations are also being considered as evacuation areas:
- UP Diliman campus, Quezon City
- Three S Center, Agustin Street, Valenzuela City
- La Loma cemetery, Samson Road, Caloocan City
- Pinaglabanan Shrine, San Juan City
- Ultra complex, Pasig City
- Training Center, C. Raymundo St., Pasig City
- Marikina Boys Town, Marikina City
- Red Cross Compound, Marikina City
- Marikina City Hall
- Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay City
- University of Santo Tomas campus, Manila
- Amphitheater near Malabon City Hall, Malabon City
- University of Makati complex, Makati City
- Near Garden of Memories Cemetery, Bagong Kalsada, Pateros
- Cayetano Science High School, Diego Silang St., Brgy. Ususan, Taguig City
- Paranaque City Hall, San Martin de Porres St., Paranaque City
- Sucat Posadas, Muntinlupa City,
- Filinvest MTB Trail, Filinvest Avenue, Muntinlupa City
- Sunken Garden at Gen. Paulino Santos Avenue, Muntinlupa City
Do we need to proceed to the evacuation areas?
You don’t have to proceed to the quadrant or local evacuation areas. Just know their locations, as well as how to get there, in case there are fires and strong aftershocks during a real earthquake.
Can I volunteer?
Yes. MMDA, in partnership with MovePH, is calling on individuals and organizations to join the Metro Manila Emergency Volunteer Corps (MMEVC) – a network of volunteers who will be ready to respond in times of disasters. Sign up at the ShakeDrill website.
What is Oplan Metro Yakal Plus?
Oplan Metro Yakal Plus is Metro Manila’s emergency response plan in event of a 7.2 magnitude movement of the West Valley Fault with intensity VIII ground shaking.
The contingency plan details how government agencies, local government, and other stakeholders should work together to prepare for and respond to “the big one”. The plan was formulated and approved by the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC).
How can I encourage others to participate in the ShakeDrill?
You can help promote this event by taking pictures and telling us about your individual, family, and community preparations on social media, using #MMShakeDrill.
Agos powered by eBayanihan, in cooperation with MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, and other partners, will help document and crowdsource these initiatives from both public and private sectors.
Local government units, response teams, and individuals are encouraged to utilize the Agos Alert Map to learn more about information updates and engagement with the public for this earthquake drill. You can also encourage them to join the Metro Manila Emergency Volunteer Corps!
What is the Metro Manila Emergency Volunteer Corps?
The Metro Manila Emergency Volunteer Corps (MMEVC) is a network of individuals and organizations that are prepared for and ready to respond in times of crisis. It was established by the MMDA for the 1st Metro Manila Shake Drill.
The MMDA, in partnership with MovePH, will expand the volunteer corps and build the capacity of its members. The MMDA and other partners will conduct training workshops to teach and hone the needed skills for disaster preparedness and response.
If you have more questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org – Rappler.com
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