115 thousand joined nationwide quake drill in Cordillera

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BAGUIO CITY – Amidst bad weather, many still participated in the third quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED), also known as Pagyanig Challenge. In the Cordillera region, an estimate of 115,000 individuals opted to level up their preparedness.

At exactly 9 o’clock in the morning of Wednesday, all participating schools, government agencies and private sectors simultaneously joined the drill which aims to focus on the proper execution of duck-cover-hold position and practice of orderly evacuation procedure.

In the province of Abra, there were 14,284 participants; 6,435 participants in Apayao; 13,144 in Benguet; 5,300 in Kalinga; 500 in Ifugao; and 8,431 in Mt. Province. Meanwhile in Baguio City, there were 66,820 participants with 95% composed of students.

“We are aiming to test the existing evacuation plans of schools and agencies to boost our earthquake preparedness and to test the regional early warning and communications system” said OCD Cordillera Dir. Andrew Alex Uy.

Personnel from Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Air Force, Army, Red Cross, communications groups like REACT, KabalikatCiviCom, Deltans and volunteer groups such as BB-PICAG and 911 On-Call, were deployed as umpires to assess schools and offices who participated.

The Office of Civil Defense Cordillera (OCD-CAR) used a scenario of magnitude 7.2 earthquake generated by Tubao Fault located in La Union. According to PHIVOLCS, once the active fault moves, it may prompt strong quake in the region with the following potential strengths – Intensity VIII (very destructive) in Benguet; Intensity VI (destructive) in Mt Province and Abra; Intensity V (strong) in Apayao.

In 2014, PHIVOLCS also reported a massive movement of underground soil that was caused by the said fault, hence, the need to level up preparedness among residents in northern Luzon.

The drill is a regular activity spearheaded by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in order to promote a culture of safety among the people.

By Franzes Ivy Carasi

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