Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin led other disaster management and local officials in pressing the button marking the start of the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) organized by the Office of Civil Defense on Thursday.
The event held at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig, aims to unify the strategic plan of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP) for earthquake and tsunami hazards.
A metro-wide earthquake drill will also be held on July 30.
To make the exercises realistic, helicopters took flight carrying “victims” of a strong quake.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Director Renato Solidum Jr. stressed the need for such exercises to avert massive loss of lives. He underscored the importance of training people how to react and handle emergency situations during calamities.
Various NDRRMC members and local government units participated in yesterday’s event.
Drills were also held in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Camp Crame in Quezon City and Villamor Golf Course in Pasay City.
National and local government agencies also conducted their own earthquake drills simultaneously, including the cities of Makati and Pasay.
Various agencies joined the quake exercises including the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Red Cross and the business sector.
At least 400 participants from BGC participated in the drill. Authorities identified buildings where occupants were evacuated while residents and employees proceeded to open grounds for their safety.
The NSED was conducted as part of government efforts to make the public aware of the imminent danger of a strong earthquake from the Valley Fault System (VFS) that runs through major areas of Metro Manila.
The VFS is an active fault system and is composed of two segments — the East Valley Fault running through Rizal, and the West Valley Fault, running through Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna.