Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Earthquake drill set today




Cagayan de Oro City – Chairpersons of all provincial, city and municipal disaster coordinating councils (DCC) in Northern Mindanao have been alerted of the conduct of another nationwide earthquake drill on Oct. 10, 2007. The third time to be done throughout the country simultaneously this year, the drill aims to prepare the people in case earthquakes will occur in the future, P/Chief Supt. Teodorico B. Capuyan, Regional Director of the Philippine National Police (PNP), region 10, said.
The activity, which responds to a memorandum from the Chairman of the National DCC will be the country’s contribution to coincide with the observance of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), Capuyan, who is the Chairperson of the Regional DCC, said.

With the ceremonial venue held in a public school in Metro Manila, RDCC-10 has enjoined all the local government units (LGUs), local DCCs, government agencies, as well, as the private and public schools in the region to conduct a similar activity in their respective areas of responsibilities (AOR).

Meanwhile, Regional Director Carmelito Lupo of the Office of Civil Defense in the region said RDCC-10, in collaboration with the Dept. of Education, region 10, will take the lead in the earthquake drill regionwide

“We have asked all concerned RDCC-10 members agencies to allow their respective Disaster Action Officers (DAO) to act as evaluators of the drill in the various schools divisions of the region,” Lupo who is the RDCC-10 Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said.

The drill is very important to guide people on what to do and to test their preparedness during an earthquake in their communities, he said.

The same drill was conducted in selected schools and government buildings in the city, during the last two quarters, this year, following these guidelines, among others:

Whether or not the drill participants are able to hear the sound of the sirens and the extent of their practice of the “duck, cover and hold” technique while the siren is being sounded; Whether or not they are able to evacuate upon hearing the siren or if they waited for the siren to stop before evacuating, whether they have followed their designated routes to the evacuation area or whether they ran, walked casually or walked faster than normal during the evacuation phase.

“We have to focus on evacuation before rehabilitation because it is very important during earthquakes for the people to know where to go and familiarize these routes,” Lupo said.

The other questions of the evaluators are: “Did the participants bring with them any first aid kit or any item noticeable during the evacuation phase? Or, were they able to conduct the headcount during the headcount phase? And is the evacuation area big enough to accommodate the evacuees?” Lupo added.(PIA)

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