Preparing for the 'Big One': MMDA sets new shake drill

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 10 2017 10:10 AM

MANILA - Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will spearhead another region-wide earthquake drill from July 14 to 17 in preparation for a huge quake that may hit the country's capital, a disaster official said Monday.

"We will have scenarios, the MMDA has come up with scenarios that will be implemented to test the readiness and the capacity of all government units here in Metro Manila," assistant secretary Kristoffer James Purisima of the Office of Civil Defense told ANC's Early Edition.

The agency will conduct the exercises on those days, at around 4 p.m. to allow other emergency responders from other regions to come in and participate, according to an MMDA statement.

The yearly iteration of the Metro-wide shake drill is aimed to "identify the gaps" in the first two drills held in 2015 and 2016.

This local exercise is on top of the quarterly nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill the OCD conducts, according to Purisima.

He said their biggest challenge yet is whether the citizens absorb the information the government is relaying through these drills.

"We cannot be forgetful—this is addressed not just to the government, but to the people themselves," he said.

"It really depends whether the people will accept it on their end because information is really a two-way process. We’re ready to give the information, we’re ready to provide services; it’s up to the people, communities to accept what government can do for them," he added.

Dubbed "The Big One," the 7.2-magnitude earthquake which could be triggered by the movement of the Valley Fault System could kill up to 30,000 people in Metro Manila, according to studies.

MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos also warned that studies show that about 80 percent of the region's water pipes will be broken, and the powerful quake is seen to divide the metro in four possibly unreachable quadrants.