Davao City to join first nationwide simulated earthquake drill

Jun. 02, 2017

NOT PREPARED. Department of Science and Technology 11 Regional Director Anthony Sales (right) says few government agencies still do not take seriously the earthquake preparedness. Sales says every agency must at least have one trained personnel to attend to injuries, and should have working sirens that alert personnel during earthquakes and other calamities. Behind him is DOST Undersecretary Renato Solidum in a press conference in Davao City on Thursday, June 1. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The city will serve as a pilot site for the first nationwide simulated earthquake drill, which will be held on June 29 at the University of Mindanao Bolton Campus here.

Department of Science and Technology 11 (DOST) 11 Regional Director Anthony Sales said the drill at 9 am, June 29 will allow them to spot which areas can still be improved. After the drill, evaluation will be conducted at nearby Rizal Park.

“Doon idi-discuss kung talagang nasunod ang SOPs sa drill, kung tama ang ginawa nila para naman makita natin kung ano yung areas for improvement.”

(There we will discuss if the standard operating procedures were really followed, and if they performed it correctly for us to see what areas can still be improved), he said.

Trained evaluators from the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council will be assessing the results of the drill.

In an interview, Sales said traditional drills only showed people how to execute the duck, cover, and hold approach, as well as evacuating buildings after the alarms have sounded.

In contrast, simulated earthquake drill tests participants’ readiness in responding to several specific scenarios. Examples of these scenarios include treating injuries, reviving unconscious victims, and rescuing trapped people in collapsed buildings, among others.

The drill, in particular, will be simulating an earthquake with the magnitude of 7.2.

Sales also announced that they will be engaging several other universities in the city, as well as other government agencies to join the drill.

The regional director however, lamented that a few government agencies still do not take earthquake preparedness seriously.

“During the last nationwide earthquake drill that we conducted, we found that there are still  agencies that are not prepared. Maybe their employees were not yet oriented properly on what to do during earthquakes. We all know that there must be sirens that can be sounded during earthquakes. Not all offices have that. When they do have the alarms, they do not know what to do. Some are not taking the drills seriously,” Sales said.

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