July 31, 2015, 10:22a.m – GOVERNMENT and
University officials lauded the participation of Thomasians in the Metro-wide
earthquake drill last July 30.

Bureau of Fire
Protection Inspector Efren Bereñas commended the University’s crisis management
and disaster preparedness measures, and noted that participants followed
orders and proceeded to the designated areas quickly.

“Our evaluation
showed that the University was very much prepared [for the event],” he
told the Varsitarian.

Office of Public
Affairs Director Giovanna Fontanilla said the earthquake drill was a success
due to the implementation of evacuation guidelines and UST’s experience in
previous drills. Fontanilla also bared plans to distribute survival
kits to students.

“We considered
the previous drills and got some learning from [them]. [We will] improve
them,” she said.

The UST Crisis
Management Committee, headed by Fr. Manuel Roux, O.P., also the vice rector for
finance, has yet to release the results of the post-drill evaluation, which
contains recommendations for improvements on risk-reduction measures and
disaster preparedness.

Quezon City Mayor
Herbert Bautista said the drill would serve as a way to identify gaps in
disaster readiness. “Ang drill na ito ay para malaman ang mga gap, ang mga
kakulangan, para makapag-adjust [tayo],” he said, adding he wanted the
drills in Quezon City to he held quarterly.

Metro-wide drill 

The Metro-wide
earthquake drill started at 10:30 a.m. and ended at 11:30 a.m. The
capital region was divided into four quadrants.

Sirens indicated the
start of the drill and the arrival of an imaginary tremor. Students and other
participants performed the essential “duck, cover and hold” exercise
before being evacuated to the Open Field, where various emergency stations were
set up.

This was followed by
building inspections and search-and-rescue operations. The Benavides Park
served as a medical assistance area, where medical personnel attended to
simulated injuries and actual cases of hyperventilation and nausea.

Other areas in Metro
Manila performed various “simulations” to test the readiness of
emergency personnel.

A fire simulation
exercise with wounded and trapped “victims” was set up at the Metro
Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Workers’ Inn in Manila.

A medical triage
scenario was done at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, where
medical personnel treated victims and sent them to other hospitals.

A collapsed structure
simulation was done in the cities of Pasig and Marikina.

The large-scale was
organized by the MMDA with the cooperation of other government agencies such as
the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the Department of
Health and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Kathryn
Baylon and Danielle Ann F. Gabriel


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