MMDA to conduct 3rd MM Shake Drill in July

MANILA-- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will conduct its third Metro Manila Shake Drill this July to prepare for the eventuality of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that might strike the metropolis.

MMDA will conduct earthquake drills for four days from July 14 to July 17, to enable first responders and emergency personnel of the national government agencies as well as private organizations to calibrate their respective contingency measures in case the so-called Big One happens.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim reiterated that every sector of society should be on alert and be ready to respond to catastrophic events.

We should not ignore and take this lightly because lives are at stake here. We should not be complacent and should participate in this so the cooperation of everyone is needed, Lim said.

Let us make this a meaningful exercise, he added.

This year's drills will focus on early recovery-rehabilitation capacity, testing response and rescue, command and control, and communication systems.

Local government officials are tasked to design scenarios for disaster response. At the barangay level, officials may hold evacuation drills and feeding and assess emergency plans.

Under the MMDA's disaster contingency plan Oplan Metro Yakal Plus, the engagement for disaster preparedness starts from the national level to the local government units down to the family and individual.

Quadrant commanders of the North, East, West and South of Metro Manila are vital in mobilizing and setting up emergency centers in their respective jurisdictions as personnel and equipment will no longer be prepositioned.

This will test the community preparations and how every organization or agency will execute its contingency plans. For private groups, this will test their business continuity capabilities in times of disasters, the MMDA said in a statement.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Director Renato Solidum has earlier stressed the importance of community involvement in implementing disaster preparedness measures in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces.

Solidum proposed holding regular earthquake preparedness and evacuation drills in barangays to inculcate awareness on the effects of earthquakes in communities in a meeting of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC) held earlier this year.

Since the Philippines is situated among various fault systems wherein quakes happen at any time due to their movements, it is important that the barangays must establish teams of first responders for earthquakes and other natural calamities.

An efficient communication system must also be established for coordination of rescue services and dissemination of vital information while helicopters, ambulances and other emergency vehicles should be swiftly deployed as major earthquakes damage critical infrastructures resulting to the isolation of various communities.

We must establish programs that can help communities increase awareness and encourage them into action towards preparedness for disasters, Solidum said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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