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San Juan News

San Juan hosts National Earthquake Drill 

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The San Juan City local government, in partnership with the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Marines, spearheaded the 4th quarter National Earthquake Drill (NSED) on Nov.10, after the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) chose the city as its partner local government unit (LGU) for the exercise, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.

The drill was held at the San Juan City Hall Open Grounds and was led by San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, other city government officials and elements of the Philippine Navy and Marines.

“We are very grateful to the Philippines Navy and Marines for partnering with us in this exercise. Our country is located right in the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire,’ this means we experience frequent earthquakes which make drills like this necessary to ensure that cities like San Juan are well prepared should an unfortunate event like this strikes us,” Zamora said.\

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The full-scale practice involved the alarm phase “duck, cover, and hold” and evacuation of employees from the city hall, followed by the establishment of the Incident Command Post, triage/treatment area, staging area, and conduct of rapid damage assessment. Participating barangays brought their “injured” victims to the triage area.

During the drill, rescuers from the San Juan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) rappelled down a building while a helicopter from the navy landed to provide assistance and air medical evacuation to critical victims to a field hospital, which was the highlight of the drill.

Other members of the Navy provided manpower to support the local emergency teams.

“This drill will not only help us assess our disaster preparedness and see where we are lacking, but also an opportunity for us to learn from the experts to save lives,” Zamora said.

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Aside from San Juan, other LGUs in different parts of the country also participated in the simultaneous exercise.

In September, the city of Makati was chosen as the 3rd quarter NSED partner city where the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Ayala Property Management Corporation, and Makati Central Estate Association (MACEA), held the drill at the Legazpi Active Park.

Simulations of different scenarios such as evacuation, search and rescue, medical response, fire suppression, and traffic management were conducted during the drill.

According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), around 20 earthquakes are recorded every day in the country.

Since the occurrence of earthquakes cannot be predicted, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) started earthquake drills in schools in 2002, which were later expanded to LGU, to push for quake awareness and preparedness as experts have continuously warned against the possible effects of the so-called “Big One.”

The term “Big One” is associated with the worst possible scenario that may happen not only in the Greater Metro Manila Area but in every region or province that is vulnerable to high-magnitude earthquakes.

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