Emergency responders showcase capability in earthquake drill in Lapu-Lapu

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo June 20,2019 - 08:05 PM

Personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection Lapu-Lapu CIty Fire District rescue trapped persons inside the City Health Office during the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on June 20. |Rosalie O. Abatayo

LAPU-LAPU CITY — Will Cebu be ready to respond should a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit us?

The capacity of disaster responders in Lapu-Lapu City and neighboring local government units were put to the test during the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on Thursday afternoon, June 20.

The Office of the Civil Defense in Central Visayas (OCD-7) and the Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LLCDRRMO) simulated that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake impacted the city.

At exactly 2 p.m., the alarm rang and employees of the city hall and other government offices were ushered out of their offices to the assembly area in the open grounds within the City Hall compound.

Emergency responders attend to casualties during the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill(NSED) in Lapu-Lapu City on June 20. |Rosalie O. Abatayo

At least 25 persons were staged to be trapped in the government buildings. They were rescued and given first aid treatment by responders from the LLCDRRMO, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (Eruf) and the Philippine Red Cross.

While the simulation presumed that the Lapu-Lapu City Hall collapsed due to the earthquake, the LLCDRRMO put up a make-shift Emergency Operation Center (EOCC) and an Incident Command Post (ICP) in front of the city hall where the responders had to check in upon arrival at the ground zero of the earthquake.

Engineer Verneil Balaba, DRR Division of the Office of Civil Defense in Central Visayas (OCD-7) acting chief, said it was vital that local DRRM offices conducted the simulation to prepare them to respond in case a real incident would occur.

“Makita nato nga overwhelming ang resources against the patients and that is true also in reality. You will have to manage your resources,” Balaba said.

(I observed that there were overwhelming resources against the patients, and that is true also in reality. You will have to manage your resources.)

“It is best to conduct this kind of simulation related to mass-casualty incidents because naa man ta sa areas nga daghan nga tawo, daghan nga clients (we are in areas with many people, many clients). We will have to manage everything,” he added.

Aside from the responders from Lapu-Lapu City, response units from Bantay Mandaue Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (BDRRMO) and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) also responded in Lapu-Lapu City.

Balaba said that the simulation best showcased the technical capacity of the responding agencies./dbs

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TAGS: (MCDRRMO, Cross, drill, earthquake, ERUF, lapu-lapu, national, OCD-7, Philippine, red, simulation

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