- Written by ADAS III Christine S. Palma
- Category: News and Updates
- Published: 15 July 2016
- Hits: 415
ILOILO CITY – Around 2,000 workers immediately moved out of their workplaces and gathered in an orderly manner to open areas where they believed were safe and stayed there until they were told it was no longer dangerous to leave their workplace.
This was the scenario on June 22, 2016 at the Megaworld Iloilo Business Park during the national simultaneous “shake” drill. A loud siren signaled the occurrence of an earthquake in the vast business complex.
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“The simulated earthquake was considered to be intensity 8. There were no casualties because they focused more on the execution of the ‘cover, duck and hold’ scenario,” said Iloilo Business Park Estate Manager Rey Oreo in an interview with Panay News Agency.
Megaworld is one of the venues chosen for the conduct of nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill in the city. Other venues were in Jaro National High School wherein students participated were estimated to be 2,577; Mandurriao High School participated by 1,500 students; and the Department of Health with 113 participants comprised of their regional office staff and clients.
Senior Superintendent Leo B. Bererial, Chief of the Police Regional Office 6 Communication and Electronic Office (COMMEL) said they were able to get in touch with the national headquarters despite of the hazy communication due to the rainy weather. Further, he said that this is one areas that they must look into, making sure that communication will not be hampered regardless of weather conditions.
Melissa Banias, Chief of the Capability Building Section of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said that one of the purposes of the simulation exercise was to test the sustaining capability of communication lines, one of the worst affected in times of calamities. She added that the activity was the venue to unify communication from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to the regional level.
The Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Team assigned in Megaworld gathered right after the drill at the Iloilo Business Park Sales and Communication Center to make some assessment. All issues and concerns were tackled and was brought up again for further discussions during the evaluation together with the other teams assigned in other venues of the drill and with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC).
After the evaluation, it was recommended that disaster drills should be taken seriously by the participants. There should be ordinance adopting the national law requiring offices to conduct drills frequently and to improve evacuation plans of the offices and schools. This was noted by Sangguniang Panglungsod member Lady Julie Grace Baronda who was present during the drill in Megaword.
There are still dangers in the evacuation like congestion in the evacuation area of the school resulting other students to go outside the school (Mandurriao National High School) and stay at the road side where vehicles pass. It would possibly cause accidents and if a stampede would happen, a lot of students will get injured due to small entrance/exit gate of the school, thus, there is a need to ensure students’ safety by having agreements with the owners of private offices/places like the church beside the school with enough spaces to be utilized for evacuation in times of calamities.
There is a need to check emergency alarm oftentimes to ensure that it is still functioning and audible and there should be more medicines available and more medics present.
Generally, average time of the drill lasted around 24 minutes. (ADAS III Christine S. Palma, DILG6)