MANILA, Philippines – Hours before daybreak on Saturday, July 27, several Metro Manila residents took to Twitter to express their surprise and confusion when their phones alarmed at exactly 4 am.
It was the emergency alert sent by the National Telecommunications Commissions that signaled the start of the annual Metro Manila earthquake drill, dubbed online as #MMShakeDrill.
The online response from Metro Manila residents were mixed. Some appreciated the realistic timing of the earthquake drill while others criticized the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the lead government agency for the #MMShakeDrill, for supposedly inducing panic among the mostly sleeping residents.
The annual shake drill aims to prepare, assess, and strengthen Metro Manila in responding to the “Big One” – the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that could hit the metropolitan area anytime in our lifetime if the West Valley Fault moves.
In an earlier press release, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said that the early #MMShakeDrill this year aimed to test the response capabilities and preparedness of local government units and the private sector.
After all, the “Big One” may strike any time.
He emphasized that the shake drill would allow agency employees, local government units, various agencies, volunteer organizations, and other stakeholders to have a dry run of their contingency plans.
“We are doing this to prepare everyone to minimize damage and loss of life,” Garcia said.
Here are some tweets of netizens regarding their early Saturday wakeup call:
Did you receive the emergency alert at 4 am too? What do you think about the conduct of the 2019 #MMShakeDrill? – Rappler.com