In observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month, the Valenzuela City Disaster Preparedness Office (DPO) led a city-wide earthquake drill participated by public and private schools in Valenzuela on July 2.
Over 147,000 elementary and high school students from both public and private schools participated in the said simultaneous exercise.
This is in consonance to the announcement of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for a “Nationwide Earthquake Drill,” calling all local government units to hold their own earthquake drills in their respective areas.
DPO Operations Chief for Warning and Training Roy Calingacion shared, “We made sure that all phases of the drill and protocols were observed so that the students will be prepared and will have the right mindset when the real situation comes.”
Recent reports mentioned that Metro Manila is prone to 7.2 magnitude earthquake once the Marikina West Valley fault line moves.
The earthquake drill involved two phases – the evacuation phase and the response phase.
The evacuation phase had five components. These were (a) the alarm phase, (b) the response phase, (c) the evacuation phase, (d) the assembly phase, and (e) the head count phase.
The response phase on the other hand was intended for the rescue units, such as (a) the medical team, (b) the transportation team, (c) the security team, (d) the search and rescue team, and (e) the damage analysis and needs assessment team. These are supervised by the Chief of Operations.
A drill alarm started at 9:00am in Dalandanan National High School (DNHS), one of the city’s high school campuses with a population of 4,800 students. Both the school personnel and the Valenzuela Rescue Team actively assisted the students who rushed to the open school grounds which is the designated evacuation area. Within 9 minutes after the alarm, all students were already in their stations while the teachers begin the headcount.
DNHS Principal Maxima Carlos said the earthquake drill is one of the quarterly drills that are being held in Valenzuela City schools. “We also conduct fire and flood drills. We do these to train the students as well as our school personnel,” Carlos said.
The Philippine Red Cross – Valenzuela Chapter also helped and took part of the mandated exercise.