NDRRMC chief says quake drills meant to reduce casualties

NDRRMC chief says quake drills meant to reduce casualties

MANILA – The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Thursday called on the public to participate in all earthquake drills aimed at reducing casualties as there are still no means to predict when temblors would occur.

“We call on everyone to join the drill once again as part of our effort to reinforce earthquake preparedness. Earthquakes can happen anytime without warning and sometimes they can be as devastating as what happened in Türkiye,” NDRRMC executive director Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said, as the country is slated to hold its first quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Nepomuceno, who is also Office of Civil Defense (OCD) administrator, said preparedness matters in reducing casualties caused by earthquakes. “Preparedness always matters. Let us work together to reduce the possible impacts of earthquakes. We hope for the widest participation in the upcoming drill,” he added.

The main ceremonial pressing of the button to be led by the NDRRMC officials will be held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City and will focus on a magnitude 7.2 earthquake scenario.

This will be followed by a functional exercise where NDRRMC members will be participating.

Regional DRRMCs, meanwhile, shall lead the implementation of simultaneous earthquake drills in their respective areas.

The exercise seeks to test the capabilities of the member agencies in responding to the impacts of a devastating earthquake and the existing harmonized contingency plan for the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Greater Metro Manila.

NDRRMC member agencies, including the assisting regional DRRMCs, are expected to demonstrate their interoperability and coordinating mechanisms on earthquake disaster response.

The exercise also aims to identify possible gaps and recommend needed enhancements to current plans, policies, and procedures for earthquake response.

Mustering of forces is scheduled to precede the afternoon drill. Various response agencies, including the uniformed services, are set to showcase assets, equipment and trained personnel.

This activity presents to the public the continuing development of the country’s capability to provide effective and timely disaster response. (PNA)

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