Koronadal City, SOCCSKSARGEN. In full participation to the Nationwide conduct of Earthquake Drills by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) in key cities in Metro Manila and other areas, the Department of Trade and Industry 12 Team submits itself to a multi-faceted drill in the morning of July 23, 2015. Said drill, composed of a combination of earthquake, fire and bomb exercises, was done inside and in front of the DTI 12 Regional Office, located at De Luz Bldg. GenSan Drive of this city and in cooperation with the Koronadal City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) composed of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) Bomb Squad and Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) and City Traffic Management Unit, and City Health Office thru its City Rescue Team.
At nine o’clock in the morning, members of the DTI 12 Team heard continuous siren and ringing of bells as a sign of the occurrence of an earthquake and were instructed to do the “Duck, Cover and Hold” position within its duration. Meaning, employees were asked to bend down and hide under the tables and to walk down with hands covering the head. With that, later, when the siren halted, the staff were ushered by the team leaders to the stairs following the same manner in going down and told to stop for a while when the siren is up again which indicates tremors as an aftermath of an earthquake.
When people arrived safely at the ground floor, the employees were ushered to a nearby evacuation area at the opposite street for safety. Head count was made by the team leader who later announced that there were two personnel missing. After sometime, the rescue team arrived. Braced with their rescue gadgets and equipment, they went upstairs to look for the missing persons. First to be found is Mr. Butuan Ali, DTI 12 Finance and Admin Division’s Admin. Assistant who played as a victim of head injury and hand sprain due to falling debris. Second to be brought outside is Nur Abdulkadir who played as a victim of severe head injury. The two were laid in a fiber glass stretcher and were carried by the rescuers to the ambulance staying within the vicinity.
After the earthquake drill, the fire drill began wherein the members of the Bureau of Fire Protection managed to put off using two fire extinguishers owned by DTI 12 the two sets of blazing fire which were set up in the middle of the street by their colleagues. Soon after the said exercise, an artificial bomb exploded which signalled the bomb squad to proceed and look for the hidden Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which was hidden somewhere fewer than one of the parked vehicles in the area. With the aid of the canine bomb-sniffing dogs, the team was able to track down the location of the IED and was able to diffuse the additional two more before they can “explode”.
The NDRRMC conducts Earthquake drills on July 23 and July 30 in key cities in Luzon particularly in Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao, purposely to prepare its team members for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that is feared to likely happen soon in Luzon area. In similar note, Koronadal City, as it is situated in Central Mindanao which is known to have its own active fault line, is aware that it is likely to experience earthquakes of lesser or same magnitude.
At the same time, the activity is a preparation for the conduct of safety measures during the upcoming International Folkloric Festival in August. Because of these, the City DRRMC would like to ensure its team members’ preparedness to respond during similar or other catastrophes.
As a result, DTI 12 Team members have been refreshed with the things they learned during the Disaster Preparedness Training which they underwent last December 2014 and were able to practically apply them whenever faced with life threatening situations such as earthquakes, fire and bomb explosions simulated during the drill and at the same time, the members of the City DRRMC were able to prove their readiness to respond and save lives during said emergencies.
Posted By: Lynne Pingoy