Chairman Danilo Lim of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said the early Saturday morning earthquake drill was successful in its objective in raising public awareness on the “Big One,” a phrase used to describe the gigantic future earthquake.
“I am impressed with the demonstration of preparedness and capabilities shown during the 5th Metro Manila Shake Drill, with the initiative of our personnel who got out of their houses to participate albeit the activity being held on a weekend,” he said.
Lim underscored the actions made by participants, particularly the four quadrant commanders who improvised to establish a continuous communication with responders of the local government personnel.
“We commend the private sector for actively taking part by initiating major scenarios in each of the four quadrants, forming quick response groups, and committing resources in this activity,” he said.
Among the scenarios simulated include disruption of water, power and communication, building evacuation, administering first aid to injured victims, fire manipulation and saving trapped victims, among others.
“We have seen that government, non-government organizations, private sector and volunteers can work together in making Metro Manila stronger against any disaster. Gone are the days that preparedness and response mechanism is very much government-centric,” added Lim.
This year, the MMDA chief said, the interoperability of the Metro local government units had come into play.
“Today’s activity tested our emergency preparedness and response capability when most of us are in the comfort of our own homes. Earthquake can strike any time of the day and so we wanted to see how the public will react if such disaster hits at the early hours of the day,” he said.
The drill was the third exercise under Lim’s administration, as the MMDA tried various scenarios like staging the drill during Friday rush hour in 2017 and holding it unannounced last year.
Lim urged the public to take the earthquake drill seriously. “Just this morning, an earthquake struck Batanes which caused casualties and damage to properties.”
“With the success of this year’s activity, rest assured that the Metro Manila Shake Drill will continue to level up to intensify our level of awareness, preparedness, and responsiveness as we also continue to step up our set-up and scenarios each year until we’ve achieved the highest level of disaster preparedness and risk reduction awareness,” he said.