RESCUE SIMULATION. Local Emergency Medical Responders attended to volunteer “victims” at the 5th MMDA Shake Drill earlier this Saturday, July 27 at Brgy. Santolan, Pasig City. Various simulations were conducted during the drill, including crowd control, high-angle rescue, and trapped victims.

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) held its 5th metro-wide earthquake drill early today, July 27.

At 4 a.m., the drill began with a ceremonial pressing of the siren button at the MMDA headquarters in Guadalupe, Makati. This was led by MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, joined by MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, MMDA Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Chief Michael Salalima, Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr., and National Capital Region Police Office Chief Major General Guillermo Eleazar.

All over Metro Manila, mobile phone alerts and sirens rung out at the same time courtesy of the National Telecommunications Commission, signaling the start of the shake drill. Residents were encouraged to perform the “duck, cover, and hold” exercise upon hearing the alert.

“This will not be a question of whether how many participated. The very measure of a successful staging of this shake drill is how the people understood its importance,” MMDA DRRM Chief Michael Salalima said.

The drill aims to prepare the residents of Metro Manila for the “Big One,” or the potential magnitude 7.2 earthquake that is expected to hit Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna should the West Valley Fault move anytime.

Salalima added that the MMDA is mulling the idea of performing more metro-wide earthquake drills within the year in order to better prepare people and improve preparedness.

Using the official hashtag #MMShakeDrill, netizens voiced out varied reactions to the early morning alarm. Others praised the drill, noting how the shock of the alarm was a literal and figurative wake-up call to how prepared they are for an unexpected disaster. On the other hand, some complained that the alarm woke them from their sleep.

Sa mga nagrereklamo po ay sana maging malawak ang kanilang pag-unawa kasi hindi naman na’tin pwede sabihin sa pagtama ng lindol [na] ‘sandali muna, natutulog pa tayo.’ … Bagkus, any time, pwede tumama ang lindol, (To those who are complaining [about the alarm], hopefully we are more understanding because we can’t say whenever an earthquake happens [that], ‘Wait, we are still sleeping.’ … An earthquake can happen any time,)” Salalima said. (HGBH/LMO)

Photo by Nicole Zaide/League Magazine Online

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