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NDRRMC conducts simultaneous earthquake drill in Bulacan
Monday, 24 September 2012
CITY OF MALOLOS—Thousands of Bulakenyos including government disaster response teams and officials from the national, provincial and local government trooped in Calumpit, Bulacan Monday morning to participate in the simultaneous earthquake drill.

Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado and Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando made a firsthand evaluation on the immediate response of government emergency teams from the sounding of alarm to the evacuation phase of the drill.

Alvarado said that the earthquake drill was conducted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Council (NDRRMC) as part of their 3rd quarter nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill for critical infrastructure, like Angat Dam.
The drill was personally supervised by NDRRMC officials led by Usec Eduardo G. Batac, undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Reserve Affairs of the Department of National Defense; Usec Benito T. Ramos, NDRRMC executive director and administrator of the Office of Civil Defense in coordination with the Provincial Government of Bulacan, the PDRRMC and representatives from the National Power Corporation, operator of the Angat Dam hydroelectric power plant.

“It pays to be always alert and ready on any eventuality so that we will not be caught flatfooted when disaster of such magnitude struck,” the governor said.

The drill started with ground shaking or the recognition of a possible 7.2 magnitude earthquake in which NPC officials would conduct inspection of the dam and its facilities then check the possible occurrence/identification of dam break/breach.

If such an incident occurs, dam officials will activate its emergency action plans and will immediately notify and disseminate information to local government units, concerned agencies and then activate the early warning system and monitor the situation.

The earthquake drill showed the immediate response of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils of Norzagaray and Calumpit in the activation of their respective emergency action plans in coordination with local and barangay officials which will conduct information dissemination to agencies and residents.

The PDRMMC will then facilitate the establishments of command posts that will oversee traffic, security, transport, rescue, fire fighting units and logistic teams.

The PDRMMC said that it is also important to prepare families for the evacuation phase which will be handled by village officials in coordination with the Bulacan Rescue, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine Army.

The drill also simulated a scenario from the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) where the valley fault system causes a 7.2 magnitude earthquake causing piping failure in Angat dam.

Usec Ramos said that about 20 municipalities in Bulacan, seven in Pampanga and 3 cities in Metro Manila would be affected by inundations as high as 10 to 30 meters.

“This activity is part of the government’s continuing efforts in enhancing public awareness and strenghthening the nation’s capability in disaster prevention, management and response,” Ramos said.

Usec Batac thanked Gov. Alvarado and the Provincial Government of Bulacan for their unwavering support, concern as well as the active participation of the Bulacan PDRRMC in the earthquake drill and the disaster prevention and awareness campaign of the NDRRMC.###

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