‘Magnitude 8 scenario’ earthquake drill set Feb. 21

MANILA -- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) will spearhead the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on Thursday (February 21), at 2 p.m.

Authorities will use the earthquake intensity scale of VIII as the ground shaking scenario.

A ceremonial pressing of the button will be held in Iloilo City, citing Panay Island's experience of an estimated magnitude 8.2 earthquake in 1948, according to Phivolcs.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday, NDRRMC Capacity-Building and Training Service Director Susana Juangco said the three agencies usually use either Intensity VII or VIII as the ground shaking scenario because they want the public to prepare for the "worst-case scenario".

"Pag Intensity VIII, hindi na magagawang tumayo, matutumba yung tao. Kung habang naglalakad, gagapang kasi nahihilo (During Intesity 8, you'll have difficulty standing, you'll stumble. When you walk, you creep because you'll be dizzy)," she said.

Juangco said the NDRRMC, DILG and Phivolcs have started coordinating for this with the Iloilo government last December.

"They need to have principles for possible scenario. We need to identify who will be the participating agencies, what would be their roles," she said.

She added that the Iloilo government also had to prepare a contingency plan.

"Because that's the goal of conducting (an earthquake drill). We need to find out if that contingency plan is effective," Juangco explained.

The official also noted that in a contingency plan, the NDRRMC looks at the worst-case scenario, such as magnitudes 7 or 8 earthquake.

Meanwhile, Juangco expressed hope that everyone will participate in the NSED.

"The 'duck, cover and hold' will always be among the things that they should do. When the shaking subsides and when they can already get up, they need to run outside of the establishment and go to an open field," she noted.

With regards to the damages that one may expect from a magnitude 8 earthquake, Juangco said this would still depend on how strong a house, building or any establishment was built.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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