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Nationwide earthquake drill for the ‘Big One’ set on March 9 –OCD

A National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) will be conducted on March 9 to help the public prepare for a possible catastrophic earthquake, or “The Big One,” that may hit the Philippines, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said Sunday.

Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, OCD Joint Information Center head Diego Mariano said that the NSED will be held quarterly, and the first leg this year will be initiated at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

“Magkakaron tayo ng naturang ceremonial sounding of the buzzer kung saan magiging signal para tayo ay mag-conduct ng duck, cover, and hold. Ito ay napakasimpleng protocol pero ito ay nakakapagligtas or makakapag-minimize ng injuries at casualties kung sakaling may tumamang malakas na lindol,” he said.

(We will have a ceremonial sounding of the buzzer which will be a signal for us to conduct the duck, cover, and hold. This is a very simple protocol but it can save or minimize injuries and casualties in case a strong earthquake occurs.)

Aside from this method, Mariano said that representatives of various agencies will also practice the tabletop exercise for decision-making scenarios in the event of a strong earthquake.

Following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on February 6, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it is preparing for The Big One by giving seminars and lectures on disaster preparedness and organizing the possible deployment of urban search and rescue teams.

The Philippines earlier deployed an 82-man inter-agency humanitarian contingent to Turkey to join teams from all over the world to provide assistance and help in the search for survivors of the earthquake. They are set to return to the Philippines on March 1. — DVM, GMA Integrated News