Villanueva braces for quake, tsunami

News and Press Release
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By Elaine O. Ratunil

VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental Feb. 22 (PIA) – Nothing beats preparation.

The Office of Civil Defense in Region 10, in cooperation with the Municipal Government of Villanueva in Misamis Oriental, showcased the capabilities of the local government unit (LGU) during the 1st Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for 2019 familiarizing the participants on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

Officially started through the activation of a siren, the drill lasted for a couple hours in the afternoon of Feb. 21 at Villanueva National High School (NHS), Brgy. Looc for the simulation of the earthquake while the tsunami drill was conducted at Poblacion 3.

The specific scenario for the drill was the occurrence of an 8.2 magnitude earthquake, and simulated the devastations of the quake.

Upon the pressing of the buzzer, the participants composed of students, teachers, residents, and volunteers executed the “Duck, Cover, and Hold" at 2:00 p.m.

The participants then simulated the evacuation scenarios: setting up of Emergency Operations Center; activation of Incident Command System; conducted Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA); camp coordination and management; search, rescue and retrieval operations; and fire suppression.

Emergency medical response, logistics, security, emergency telecommunications, establishment of field hospitals, management of the dead and missing, debris clearing, media reporting in emergencies, and food and non-food distribution were observed during the drill.

OCD-10 Director Rosauro Arnel Q. Gonzales reiterated that drills are done to demonstrate the capabilities of the LGU.

“The purpose is to see how prepared the municipality is in the event of such disasters - their capability for search and rescue operations, the know-how of the locals regarding Duck, Cover and Hold; the Incident Command System (ICS), the efficiency of the medical team, the organization of the evacuation centers among others," Gonzales said.

He also emphasized that coordination and communication are key in times of disaster as he commended LGU Jasaan for their participation during the drill. “The responsibility to save lives and properties is everybody’s concern and not only for the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office,” Gonzales said.

Mayor Jennie Rosalie T. Uy expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to be chosen as the ceremonial venue for the NSED.

This would prepare us on what to do in times of disasters as well as identify gaps and learn from the simulation, she said. (eor/PIA)