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Shake drill boosts public response to quake

By: Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) claimed it has boosted the public’s readiness for a strong earthquake with conduct of the metro-wide shake drill, which ended a day ahead of schedule.

The earthquake drill that started Friday afternoon was supposed to end on Monday morning but was terminated on Sunday, 12 noon.

This is to pave the way for the assessment meeting set by MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim on Monday with all quadrant leaders and all stakeholders that have participated in the drill to give their over-all assessment of the drill.

Ramon Santiago, MMDA public safety consultant, said the national government down to barangay levels and stakeholders were able to test their emergency response capabilities during the three-day drill.

“In Pasig, a terror attack while an earthquake is happening was simulated. This is what we call staged scenarios with players testing their procedures and resources. Participants were able to test how they manage the event,” said Santiago during the agency’s radio program over DZBB.

Other scenarios were fire occurrences, vehicular accidents, building collapse, rescuing of trapped persons, giving of medical attention to injured individuals liquifaction, bridge collapse, landslide, among others.

“Many people criticize the agency for holding the drill during rush hour and payday Friday but we need to see the worst case scenario and test our capabilities of emergency personnel, how fast can we respond to a disaster – government agencies, private sector, barangays, how can Metro Manila be affected,” added Lim.

The rescue operations and evacuation drills were planned according to the projected impact of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hitting Metro Manila.