To test the government and public preparedness in case the dreaded “Big One” or the 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits the metro, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) conducted a metro-wide earthquake drill.
There were 16 cities and one municipality from the National Capital Region (NCR) who participated in the synchronized “Metro Manila Shake Drill” which lasted for more than an hour.
The command center and mass burial site were set up at the ASEANA open field on Diosdado Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City.
For a more organized response and rescue operations, Metro Manila was divided into four quadrants: north, south, east, and west during the drill.
Mandaluyong, San Juan, and Quezon City were among the locations who covered the North Sector. They portrayed a medical scenario at the Veterans Golf Course.
The cities of Pasig and Marikina who covered the East Sector simulated a collapsed structure scenario.
On the other hand, cities of Taguig, Pateros, Paranaque, Pasay, Las Piñas, Makati, and Muntinlupa covering the South Sector, showed a mock debris cleaning scenario.
According to MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, the quake drill is “scientifically-based” on the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), a study conducted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) and Japan International Cooperation where an estimated 33,500 people will die if a 7.2 magnitude earthquake – the expected magnitude of the West Valley and East Valley Faults -hits the city.
It is the cities of Manila and Quezon City that will have the most losses based on the study. Meanwhile, another drill was held in Ortigas business district from 8 to 9 p.m that was conducted by Pasig. It was reported that they were the only LGU in Metro Manila that conducted a nighttime drill.
Some alternate routes were implemented during that time. Motorists were advised to avoid San Miguel Avenue and Julia Vargas Avenue as they have been closed to vehicular traffic.
An estimate of 1, 300 persons and several residential and office buildings participated in the said drill.
During the drill, Members of Eastern Police District secured the area as power supply was cut off.
Tolentino considered the metro-wide drill as a success. He said that the quake drill will be conducted annually to build a culture of preparedness not only among the residents of Metro Manila but also in the provinces.
(Photo credit to http://www.moveon.ph/)