DAVAO CITY—The readiness of Davao emergency rescue unit was challenged anew as it conducted a city-wide full scale tsunami and earthquake drill at the Crocodile Park on Friday, July 22.
The Office of Civil Defense spearheaded the conduct of the tsunami and earthquake drill together with other agencies, such as the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), Philippines National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Coast Guard.
Gaspar Balingao, the information officer of the drill said the event is part of the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness for this year.
“This event is about the earthquake and tsunami simulation exercise and also a regional-wide skills competition for the responders,” he said.
For the simulation exercise, Balingao said that the scenario is “there is an earthquake with an (intensity level) of 7.2 magnitude that hit Davao City that cause also a tsunami along Davao Gulf and it caused vehicular accidents, that cause fire, collapsed structure of buildings with a determined number of casualties.”
Part of the drill is the turning over the command and management to the Region 11.
Emmanuel Jaldon, chief of Davao’s Central 911 and officer in charge of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said: “This is a sort of simulating a possibility of an overwhelmed destruction or incidents, so we need outside resources to support us and help manage the incident.”
Another drill of search and rescue operation was conducted at the Sta. Ana Wharf.
Jaldon said that aside from the simulation exercise event in the morning, there is a friendly competition of skills and rescues among the responders on the afternoon “ it is just to test and practice the existing skills that the responders should have.”
“We are trying to make this scenario complex as possible to really test our capabilities for response during emergency,” Jaldon said.
Some government personnel from other provinces in the region were also invited to participate.
“They came from the provinces of Davao and Compostela Valley, but many of them are from CDRRMO and 911,” Balingao said.
Jaldon said that every semester, the Davao emergency rescue group conducts full scale exercise and every quarter of the year, the group conducts functional drills. “So in community level, there is a regular drill just like earthquake drills and evacuation drills,” he said.
“Every year and every time we conduct this kind of exercises and activity, we see the areas we need to improve on, we always need to improve,” Jaldon said.(davaotoday.com)