MANILA - The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday discussed the ongoing plans and preparation for the upcoming metro-wide earthquake drill on July 30.
On July 30 at exactly 11 a.m., Dr. Renato Solidum, director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) will make a nationwide simulated announcement saying a 7.2-magnitude earthquake "has struck" Metro Manila. This will trigger the earthquake drill.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino invited the public to visit the website shakedrill.com, which contains tips on what individuals can do to keep safe before, during, and after an earthquake.
Through the website, groups and individuals may also sign up for training as part of the 8,000-strong volunteer force under the MMDA who will be the responders should "the big quake" hit.
A list of groups, companies, and agencies that have signified participation in the earthquake drill will also be there for review.
Tolentino said participation in the earthquake drill is voluntary.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin assigned the Northern Luzon Command as the operational head of the northern and western quadrant, while the Southern Luzon Command will head the southern and eastern quadrant.
Since the West Valley Fault system cuts through the length of the metropolis and surrounding provinces, earthquake preparations have been devised on a sectorized basis, under the assumption that damage from the earthquake would isolate one portion of the country from the rest.
The sector system makes sure that these isolated areas will be able to function and respond on their own.
Studies conducted on the West Valley Fault reflect that its next rupture could generate a magnitude of 7.2, the same magnitude that tore apart the province of Bohol in 2013.
Tolentino requested all 12 million residents of Metro Manila to participate in preparing for a disaster that could strike their homes.
So far, he said, 3,000 people have already gone to the website and signed up for training as earthquake responders.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MANUALS
The NDRRMC, meanwhile, also approved the implementation of "Oplan Listo," a spectrum of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery plans that all local government units (LGUs) can uniformly apply to prevent the loss of lives.
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero presented three booklets labeled "disaster preparedness manuals" which have already been delivered to LGUs for use.
These manuals include flowcharts of what local governments should do should their areas get hit by a typhoon. The flowcharts differ, from yellow to red alerts.
Panadero said all 1,634 municipalities and 143 cities have already been given these manuals, and that in fact, the actions recommended by these manuals were already put to practice during typhoon Chedeng and Ruby.