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Philippine holds simultaneous earthquake drills

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Philippine holds simultaneous earthquake drills
Students of Rafael Palma Elementary School in Manila practice the ‘duck, cover and hold’ exercise during the first quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drills yesterday.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — In preparation for the “Big One” or a 7.4-magnitude temblor, the Philippines conducted yesterday simultaneous earthquake drills to educate, prepare and protect the public during disasters.

The government-initiated nationwide earthquake drill was held at around 9 a.m.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro led government officials in the ceremonial pressing of the button that signaled the start of the first quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drills (NSED) at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Offices of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) participated in the earthquake drill.

The Office of Civil Defense said the drill would also help assess the effectiveness of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and its member agencies in responding to a simulated disaster scenario, through testing of the communication protocols, coordination mechanisms and resource mobilization.

AFP officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the military joined the earthquake drill, which aims to increase public awareness and preparation for big earthquakes and other natural calamities.

Offices from the Philippine Army headquarters and its major units also joined the earthquake drill.

The NSED is a quarterly exercise that aims to enhance the preparedness of government units, line agencies and other organizations. It also seeks to educate the public on what measures to take when an earthquake occurs.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Roy Galido said the command continues to support initiatives of the national government and assures the public of the Army’s readiness to respond to any emergencies.

Malacañang was among those that joined in the earthquake drill. Employees of the Presidential Communications Office practiced the “duck, cover and hold” during the drill.

Other government agencies that joined the drill were the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. — Jose Rodel Clapano, Rudy Santos

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