Nationwide earthquake drill canceled due to coronavirus outbreak

Rappler.com
Nationwide earthquake drill canceled due to coronavirus outbreak
The NDRRMC says the first quarter drill was canceled to 'ensure public health safety of the drill participants and to prevent the possible risk of contracting COVID-19'

MANILA, Philippines – The The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)  has canceled the first quarter nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill (NSED) that was supposed to be held on Thursday, March 12.

The NDRRMC announced this in a memo dated Tuesday, March 10, following a spike in confirmed local cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus.

The virus has infected at least 35 people in the Philippines, and has placed hundreds more under investigation.

The NDRRMC said the cancellation of the quarterly drill was done to “ensure public health safety of the drill participants and to prevent the possible risk of contracting COVID-19.”

It’s also in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a state of public health emergency, which orders all government agencies and local government units to cooperate and mobilize necessary resources to combat the coronavirus.

The NSED is comprised of a series of simulation exercises conducted all over the Philippines to instill a culture of disaster preparedness among Filipinos and promote disaster awareness. (READ: All you need to know about preparing for earthquakes)

The NSED aims to evaluate the effectiveness of local governments’ contingency plans and protocols in relation to earthquake scenarios and other similar events. – Rappler.com