4-day Metro Manila-wide shake drill starts today; possible quake scenarios to be simulated

Schoolchildren from the Corazon Aquino Elementary School participate in a nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill in Manila on June 29. The nationwide drill is part of the government’s disaster preparedness program and is held quarterly. / AFP / Noel Celis/

(Eagle News) — At 4 p.m. today, a Metro Manila wide shake drill will be conducted to signal the start of a four-day more comprehensive simulation quake drill that will instill the importance of the “duck, cover and hold” position to the public during earthquakes.

Spearheaded by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the four-day quake drill will see a simulation of the actions to be taken should there be collapsed buildings, for instance, burning buildings or looting, once a strong quake hits Metro Manila.

The following actions will be simulated:

Deployment of emergency hospital services
Evacuation from various establishments like schools and offices
Debris clearing

The MMDA encouraged the public to participate so they would be prepared if the real quake takes place.

“I’m pleading to our public to please understand, it is important we should see how ready our local government units are,” said National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office spokesperson Mina Marasigan in an interview with CNN Philippines’ “The Source.”

Metro Manila will be divided into quadrants, each with a designated evacuation center: the north quadrant’s will be at Veterans Hospital in Quezon City; the south quadrant’s will be at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City; the east quadrant’s will be at the Light Rail Transit Depot in Santolan, Pasig; and the west quadrant’s will be at the Intramuros Golf Course in Manila.

“So [on] July 14, 4 o’clock in the afternoon, we will be doing the duck, cover, and hold — the entire Metro Manila,” Marasigan said.

The quake drill with simulation will continue in the next three days.

“On [July] 15, 16, and 17 we will do the simulation with [LGUs]. Where are they supposed to go? Where are their staging areas?” said Marasigan.

“Let us see how fast they can actually put up their staging areas and provide assistance to the public, so we’ll be showcasing now the capabilities and capacities of our [LGUs].”