Metro Manila Shake Drill To Simulate Night-Time Scenario

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) wants the 5th Metro Manila Shake Drill scheduled on July 27, 2019 to be closer to reality as possible.

Michael Salalima, MMDA Chief of Staff, OGM and Focal for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, said they hope to elevate this year’s Metro Manila Shake Drill with more realistic simulation of the Agency’s earthquake preparedness and response plans and protocols together with the seventeen (17) LGU’s local disaster offices in case a massive earthquake hits the metropolis during night time.

“We want to simulate how long it will take for all concerned agencies and units to get to designated emergency operations center and staging areas. For the first time, Agency personnel and response teams will not come from the office but from their homes in wee hours,” said Salalima.

The shake drill will start at 4 am with the pushing of ceremonial button by MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim and GM Jojo Garcia at the MMDA headquarters while the public will be notified through various ways like alarms from the mobile phones, buildings and from their respective LGU’s.

“We want to test everything time on target as mentioned by our GM. Once the signal starts at 4 am, that’s the only time our people will move, set up communications and various resources.,” said Salalima.

To do this, Salalima said utility companies have joined forces with the MMDA in carrying out the 5th Metro Manila Shake Drill aimed to familiarize the people with duck, cover and hold and test the preparedness of Metro Manila for the eventuality of a powerful tremor.

“We requested the participation of Manila Water, Maynilad, Meralco, Globe and Smart to provide us a semblance of close to life scenarios to be staged for the drill,” said Salalima.

The scenarios are based on studies that there will be more casualties during the evening where everyone’s mostly home than daytime when mostly are in the schools and offices. And for the first time also, we are seeing a wider and full participation of the private sector with no less than the Phil. Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and National Resilience Council (NRC) leading the initiatives, Salalima stated.

Meanwhile, the MMDA is also coordinating with the National Telecommunications Commission and telecommunication companies Globe, Smart and Sun for the short messaging service (SMS) that will be sent to the public informing them about the start of the drill.

During the drill, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, who is also concurrent head of the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), General Manager Jojo Garcia and other Agency officials will make rounds where scenarios will be staged and at staging areas of four quadrants in the metro.

The northern quadrant will use the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course as staging area while the western quadrant will be in Intramuros Golf Course.

The eastern quadrant will use the LRT 2 Santolan Depot while the southern quadrant will use the Villamor Golf Course. (MMDA)

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