Iloilo city prepares for possible reoccurrence of lady caycay

DIFFERENT stakeholders prepare for the 1st Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill to be piloted in Iloilo City during the Second Coordination Meeting on January 31, 2019 at the Kerr Building. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

Almost a century since the destructive earthquake “Lady Caycay” hit and devastated Panay Island, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) is hoping to raise public awareness on the so-called “The Big One.”

CDRRMO head Donna Magno said the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) wanted to raise awareness of Ilonggos through a nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill (NSED) on Feb. 21, 2019 in Iloilo City.

Magno emphasized the need for such drills since earthquakes can always recur.

“Ang big events daan like that may recurring period so dapat tutukan gid na kon ano ang natabo sa past so that we can prepare for possible scenario like Lady Caycay,” she said.

According to CDRRMO Operations Officer Darwin Papa, the estimated reoccurring cycle of a huge disaster event like earthquakes is around 50-70 years.

“Ang estimated reoccurring cycle is around 50-70 years and since nalampasan na naton ang 50th year sang Lady Caycay subong and we are hoping indi marecur,” he said.

It was on January 25, 1948 when super earthquake Lady Caycay toppled and destroyed the Jaro belfry and other churches in Panay Island.

Lady Caycay was generated by the West Panay Fault (WPF), which runs more or less 90 kilometers from Aklan through Capiz and ends in the town of San Joaquin, Iloilo.

The fault passes through the towns of Lambunao, Janiuay, Maasin, Alimodian, Tubungan, Leon, Igbaras, Miagao and San Joaquin in Iloilo; Ibajay, Malinao, Madalag in Aklan; Pandan in Antique; and Jamindan and Tapaz in Capiz.

This year, marks the 71st year of Lady Caycay, which was considered as the second strongest earthquake in the country with a magnitude of 8.2.

Aside from raising public awareness, Magno said the drill will also showcase the capabilities and skills of Iloilo City in terms of preparedness.

“Part of the drill is to raise the awareness but also to showcase what Iloilo have in terms of preparedness. In the upcoming drill we have identified five areas nga mahighlight ang different anggulo like the relationship of barangays and academe and the responsiveness of key areas in the city,” she said.

The nationwide drill which is expected to involve around 8, 0000 participants will highlight the interoperability, protocols, standard operating procedures of concerned agencies during emergencies, and check the structural integrity of buildings in the city, Magno added.

Jose Roberto Nuñez director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said the nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill will be focusing on building DRRM efforts done by individual, community based organizations and the government.

“When all of these efforts are optimally executed, a society becomes resilient against disasters,” he said during the Second Coordination Meeting in preparation for the 1st Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill in Iloilo City.