Cebu City is ‘ready’ if potential earthquake hits – CCDRRMO
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City is now “equipped and ready” whenever there is a potential disaster like an earthquake that will occur. This is according to the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO).
Harold Alcontin, CCDRRMO head, told CDN Digital on Saturday, November 18, that they had taken proactive measures and made preparations to address a potential impact of natural calamities, specifically tsunamis and earthquakes.
Training, planning of Cebu City DRRMO
“Ang atong office wala gyud nagkuwang og bansay-bansay, pagplano. Naa na tay strategic plan for earthquake. Usa ni sa among pagpangandam during earthquake emergencies,” Alcontin said.
(Our office has not been lacking in training, planning. We have a strategic plan for earthquake. This is one of our preparations during earthquake emergencies.)
Alcontin added that they had organized numerous earthquake drills from schools to government offices to guarantee the readiness of the community.
Cebu City responders
He also said that all responders in Cebu City had undergone extensive training and protocols on how to respond and to manage earthquake disasters.
However, despite their level of preparedness, Alcontin said that there would still be “no absolute guarantee” due to the unpredictability and absence of advance warnings for earthquakes.
“Naa naman tay mga database og asa ang man ang vulnerable areas. Pero I hope nga dili ni mahitabo kay kahibawo baya ta if earthquake, walay exempted, kita gyud tanan. Dili pariha sa bagyo nga naay early warnings,” he said.
(We already have a data base on where the vulnerable areas are. But I hope that this will not happen because we know that if it is an earthquake, nobody is exempted, all of us will be affected. Unlike the storms, which have early warnings.)
Duck, cover, hold protocol
In the event of an earthquake, Alcontin advised people not to resort to running, but to instead follow the “duck, cover, and hold” protocol.
“Keep in mind to perform the duck, cover, and hold. Ayaw gyud ka dagan samot na naa ka sa indoor, huwat usa ug kanus-a muhinay ang shaking,” he said.
(Keep in mind to perform the duck, cover, and hold. Don’t run especially if you are indoors, wait for the shaking to become weak.)
Alcontin further advised that people should evacuate to the nearest open spaces that would not have tall buildings, posts, or trees.
This is because these structures may be more vulnerable to damage or collapse during an earthquake, which can pose a more significant risk.
Check on family
“Always check your family if naa bay na injured or wala. Huwat gyud sa advisory sa gobyerno if angay na ba mubalik sa mga panimalay or dili pa,” he added.
(Always check on your family, if somebody among them has been injured or not. Wait for the government advisory, if it is now okay for them to return to their home.)
Moreover, Alcontin mentioned that the office had already prepared evacuation plans.
During earthquakes, they advised against seeking shelter inside structures or buildings due to the heightened risk of potential damage or collapse, as these structures might be more vulnerable during seismic events.
“Naa na tay mga evacuation, actually, pero inganing mga linog man gud, dili pa ta pwede manulod og infrastructure. So dapat open spaces gyud ta,” he said.
(We have evacuation, actually, but when it comes to earthquakes, we are not allowed to go inside infrastructure. So, we should go to open spaces.)
“They can go to open spaces sa school jud kay kini nga mga building gicheck na ni sa atong mga engineers,” Alcontin added.
(They can go to open spaces in school because these buildings have been checked by our engineers.)
The head of CCDRRMO reminded people that while experiencing panic would be a natural response, it would always be wise to remain vigilant and be aware of the necessary actions during challenging times.
“Don’t panic. Perform duck, cover, and hold. Find something solid to support your head. Wait for the shaking to stop. And check your family,” Alcontin said.
Recently, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake rocked some parts of Mindanao on Friday, November 17. As of press time, the death toll has risen to 7, according to the Office of Civil Defense.
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