Community participation sought in citywide earthquake drill

BAGUIO CITY – The city’s barangay officials were briefed in a two-part meeting at the Baguio Convention Center Wednesday afternoon as to the “Baguio Shake Drill” earthquake preparedness exercise from 10:30 -11:30 AM on March 31.

The nationwide drill is by virtue of a memorandum issued by OCD Administrator Undersecretary Alexander Pama for the conduct of the first quarter nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill as launched in Clark Airbase.

The Office of Civil Defense Cordillera (OCD-CAR) headed by regional director Alex Uy in coordination with the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) under officer Yolanda Munar earlier formed a core group composed of the various government agencies, utility companies and private establishments to spearhead the conduct of the activity.

The city serves as a pilot area in the exercise which is considered as OCD’s major disaster risk reduction and management activity which aims to imbibe among residents the concepts of earthquake preparation by familiarizing themselves with the duck-cover-hold technique and the evacuation plans and procedures.

During the briefing, officials were asked to exert all efforts to inform barangay constituents of said activity, which may be through the barangay assembly, giving out of educational materials, house-to-house information campaign or posting of notices in conspicuous places.

All Baguio residents are urged to be alert before, during and even after the earthquake drill. Officials beforehand should check early warning devices, inspect and conduct an inventory of instruments to be used, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) City Director Evelyn Trinidad said.

At 10:30AM, sirens, schoolbells or whistles and the like are sounded off for a minute, signifying the start of the drill and the occurrence of a strong earthquake. Those inside their houses or offices should then drop, cover, hold position for 45 seconds, and evacuate for a designated open area in their respective barangay. Barangay officials may conduct a headcount for those in the evacuation/open area. Barangay DRRMC are to be activated to accommodate supposed disaster reports on the earthquake, CDRRMC officer Julius Santos said.

Those outside are instructed to “duck, cover and hold, and proceed to an open area.

Motorists in moving vehicles are advised to stop and get out, for the duration of the siren sound.

Evacuation centers in the Central Business District are Session road and Melvin Jones Football grounds.

Barangay officials should monitor the proceedings, assess the situation and needs observed and give feedback through a report with photos, to the city hall control center.

Secretary to the mayor Raffy Tallocoy who attended the briefing requested cooperation from each for the preparedness drill.

Earlier Mayor Mauricio Domogan urged all sectors to actively participate in the “Baguio Shake Drill” citywide earthquake preparedness exercise.

“I encourage everyone to take this exercise seriously so we will be able to realize its objectives of gauging the city’s preparedness for this type of calamity,” the mayor said.

He also tasked the various government and private agencies to do their part.

Evaluators to help during and assess after the exercise are from; Baguio City Police Office, 50 personnel; Philippine National Red Cross, Baguio Chapter, 30; Baguio Fire Protection, regional and city, 25; Tactical Operations group 1, 15; Department of Health, 7; Baguio Health Department, 10; Baguio City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 10; and, Office of the Civil Defense, 15.

Ambulances are deployed at Tam-awan, Green Valley-Marcos Highway, Mines View, at Loakan Health Center, and Irisan National High School; while the BCPO deploys police mobiles at all stations. Fire trucks are available during the earthquake drill along Bonifacio st. rotunda, Irisan substation and Pacdal circle./Aileen P. Refuerzo and Julie G. Fianza


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