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National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill to test LGU’s disaster preparedness

By: Gerard Vincent Francisco June 17,2019 - 05:19 PM

(Left to Right) Andy Berame, Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Office head;  Baltazar Tribulano, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office head;  Engr. Verneil Balaba, acting chief of the DRR Division of the Office of Civil Defense in Central Visayas;, and Cloyd Dedicatoria, the Guardian creator, brief reporters on their preparations for the  National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill scheduled on Thursday. /Gerard Vincent Francisco

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines – Do not be afraid if you hear the wailing of sirens at exactly 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 20.

This will mark the official start of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill that will test the preparations of Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices here in case of a repeat of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu provinces in 2013, said Engr. Verneil Balaba, acting chief of the Disaster Risk Reduction Division of the Office of Civil Defense in Central Visayas (OCD-7).

Balaba said that during the drill, emergency responders will be asked to attend to the needs of casualties from the Lapu-Lapu City Hall.

With its location close to a fault zone, Lapu-Lapu City will be focus of this year’s drill while simultaneous drills will also be held in other parts of Cebu and the rest of the country.

During the simulation, emergency responders from the Bureau of Fire Protection in Central Visayas (BFP – 7) and the Lapu Lapu City Health Office will be asked to assist the casualties.  They will be joined by disaster personnel from Cebu Province and the cities of Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay.

Andy Berame, head of Lapu-Lapu’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said that the drill is expected to test the interoperability of the neighboring localities that will participate in the emergency response scenario in case of disasters.

It will also assess the usefulness of the Guardian application that aims to monitor the occurrence of crimes and other emergencies.

Guardian or the Geographic Unified Assistance and Response to Distress Incidents with Agile Networking was created by Cloyd Dedicatoria to help track the location of accidents and crimes especially when the telecommunication lines are unavailable for use.

The application allows the user to send a distress signal with the use of video or audio clips to the nearest command center that will also relay said message to the nearest emergency responders.  Guardian may be accessed through Facebook and is run with the use of an independent wireless network.

The system was also tested during the Sinulog Grand Parade in January.

But despite the availability of technology, Baltazar Tribulano, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), is telling Cebuanos to never forget to “Duck, Cover and Hold” in case of ground movements. /dcb

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TAGS: earthquake drill, guardian, Lapu-Lapu City, LDRRMO, OCD-7, PDRRMO, tribunalo

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