Iloilo City to pilot Quake Drill on Feb 21

ILOILO CITY and various national agencies accepted the challenge to be the national pilot site for the 2019 Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on Feb. 21.

The activity will serve as a test on how ready the public is when earthquake strikes anytime, according to a report from the Public Information Office.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) conducted a coordination meeting with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) 6 relative to NSED at City Hall Penthouse I Jan. 7.

They will work side by side with city government in order to come up with a very simultaneous and spontaneous earthquake drill.

“Iloilo City showcased a very outstanding drill as a regional pilot last year. That is why we are here to help the city comply with the requirements, and it is not really for compliance per se, but this could be a big step for us towards resilience. Let us make the 180 barangays become resilient by starting a nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill,” OCD 6 Assistant Regional Director Maria Aletha Nogra said.

CDRRMO plans to have various stages for the earthquake drill, physical setup, contingency plan, security plan, and more.

“We will be finalizing the exact location of the drill that will last for a maximum of one hour. For this to be realistic we will be simulating a shake drill with a magnitude of 8.2,” CDRRMO head Donna Magno said.

“Being the pilot LGU, it’s our opportunity to share the level of our preparation on an 8.2 magnitude earthquake similar to 1948 Lady CayCay Earthquake. So it’s our chance to check and to test our protocol, competencies of disaster managers and at the same time to check the level of preparation of sectors, communities, barangays, schools and organizations,” she added.

In accordance with the plan, the drill will be conducted simultaneously in selected places, including City Hall, schools West Visayas State University La Paz and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University-Arevalo; Barangays Sto. Niño Sur, Sto. Niño Norte, and Calaparan in Arevalo, hospitals, and all DepEd schools.

“We are also planning to coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard Regional Office 6 to use the John B. Lacson ship for the probability that the bridges will collapse. Iloilo City is a land locked island, the use of the ship will be useful and will serve as an evacuation if needed,” CDRRMO Operations Officer Darwin Papa said.

The Philippine National Red Cross Iloilo also plans to provide food and an air-conditioned field hospital for the drill. (Roger Paul Timothy L. Lacuarta/Iloilo City PIO)