MANILA, Philippines – Residents of Metro Manila may have to prepare in the wee hours of Saturday morning, July 27, for the Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) 5th metrowide earthquake drill.
In the past years, the MMDA-organized earthquake drills – dubbed online as #MMShakedrill – were done during the day and even during rush hours.
In 2018, MMDA upped its simulation by keeping the exact date of the drill as a surprise. However, a premature text blast alerted the public of the 1 pm #MMShakeDrill that occured that day, July 19, 2018. (READ: Jolted netizens liken #MMShakeDrill phone alarm to ‘The Purge’ siren)
For this year’s #MMShakeDrill, the MMDA hopes to elevate their simulation by conducting the annual exercise on a weekend and almost at the break of dawn “when most Metro Manila residents are at home and asleep.”
The simulation is meant to test the response capabilities and preparedness of local government units and the private sector in Metro Manila since an earthquake might occur anytime.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said that the #MMShakeDrill on July 27 will start as early as 4 am, signaled by the sounding of an alarm.
He emphasized that the shake drill will give way for agency employees, local government units, various agencies, volunteer organizations, and other stakeholders to demonstrate their contingency plans.
“We are doing this to prepare everyone to minimize damage and loss of life,” Garcia added.
The 2019 #MMShakeDrill will feature different emergency scenarios to be staged at city hall offices, establishments, communities, businesses, and households in Metro Manila.
MMDA will also be utilizing designated emergency operation centers located at the 4 quadrants in Metro Manila to practice personnel deployment.
The 4 quadrants are located in the following areas:
- Northern quadrant: Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course
- Western quadrant: Intramuros Golf Course
- Eastern quadrant: LRT 2 Santolan Depot
- Southern quadrant: Villamor Golf Course
Throughout the drill, Danilo Lim, MMDA chairman and concurrent head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, will be visiting city halls and designated emergency operation centers in the metro to check on their progress.
“We expect more active and full participation of the private sector as government’s partner in disaster and emergency preparedness and response for Metro Manila,” Garcia said.
The annual shake drill aims to prepare, assess, and strengthen Metro Manila in responding to the “Big One,” which refers to the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that could hit the metropolitan area anytime in our lifetime if the West Valley Fault moves. – with reports from Stanley Guevarra/Rappler.com