‘Duck, cover and hold’ as earthquake drill set today

THE OFFICE of Civil Defense (OCD) XI urged the public to participate whenever they will hear the siren during the simulation earthquake exercise to be conducted at the UM main campus along Bolton Street at 2 p.m. today.

Speaking in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing held at Royal Mandaya hotel, Leoncio Cirunay, the director of the Office of the Civil-Defense (OCD) XI, said the city was chosen as pilot area and national leaders are also coming over today as observers.

“We are calling everybody that once the siren starts, stop all vehicles and all people in the streets should execute the duck, cover and hold,” he said.

After the siren, different agencies will conduct response capability demonstration.

“Our scenario is a very strong quake at 7.1 (magnitude) that will hit Davao Region and we will execute what’s supposed to be done,” he added.

Aside from rescue agencies, personnel of Eastern Mindanao Command, Task Force Davao, 10th Infantry Division, Bureau of Fire and Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Police Regional Office XI, Davao City Police, medical team of the Central 911 will also join the drill.

There are also around 188 rescue group and 280 evaluators who are distributed at malls and hotels.

Susan Juangco, the head of training of the OCD XI, said Davao was chosen as the pilot area for the second national simultaneous earthquake drill to look at the capacities of big cities. The drill is being conducted every quarter and there will be another venue in September.

Vic Tomazo, consultant of the incident command center, emphasized that the simulation earthquake drill is very important. He said rescue agencies are already prepared in case of a strong typhoon, but they still need to assess their capabilities in case of strong quakes like what happened in Baguio City in 1990 and in Mindanao in 1976.

“Hopefull, everybody will see the need to be prepared,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said they will also perform their part in securing the area.

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