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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

‘Duck, cover, hold’ key to safety during earthquakes — experts

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Duck, cover, hold.

Safety experts underscored that these three key words may make the difference between life and death during earthquakes.

When earthquake strikes, disaster experts advised the people to duck or drop to the floor before the shaking knocks them down.

They also said people must cover their heads and necks using their arms, and quickly get under desks and other shelters that are strong enough to protect them while the tremors last.

They likewise advised the people to either hold on to their shelter or continue covering their heads and necks until the shaking of the ground stops.

These three techniques for survival during emergency situations were demonstrated during the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill held Thursday in Makati City.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) noted that a number of scenarios made during shake drills were based on a simulated 7.2-magnitude tremor with Intensity 8 that supposedly happened in Metro Manila.

The event, in partnership with the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Office of Civil Defense, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Ayala Property Management Corp., the Makati Central Estate Association, and the MMDA was held at the Legazpi Active Park.

DOST Secretary Dr. Renato Solidum Jr. led the event with the ceremonial pressing of the button.

Civil Defense Administrator Undersecretary Raymond Ferrer, other officials of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and those from the local government of Makati led by Mayor Abigail Binay attended the exercise.

As part of the drill, preparedness and response skills were performed such as community evacuation, activation of incident command post, fire suppression, search and rescue operations in collapsed structures, response to mass casualty incident, and high-angle rescue.

“This activity aims to educate and equip citizens in what to do during and after an earthquake,” Binay said

She added that every sector of the society should be aware and ready to respond to such catastrophic events.

MMDA acting chair Carlo Dimayuga III also attended and gave a message to the participants. He said Filipinos have overcome many challenges and disasters because of their resilience.

He also called for preparedness at any time, and to cooperate with the programs and activities of the government to strengthen the preparedness of every citizen from the threat of earthquakes.

In Taguig, the local government through the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, the Health Emergency Management Service of the City Health Office and the Taguig Pateros District Hospital Disaster Management Office, also conducted earthquake drills in various schools, health centers, barangays and government offices in the city.

Mayor Laarni Cayetano said the event was the city’s participation in the country’s quarterly National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill.

“Through these simulation drills, Taguig wants its citizens to become proficient in the duck, cover, and hold technique while ground-shaking takes place, and the proper evacuation to safe zones,” she said.

An example of proper evacuation took place at the Taguig Pateros District Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where nurses and doctors showed their readiness to save and properly evacuate their baby patients during the earthquake.

The Department of Public Works and Higways – National Capital Region Office also conducted its own drill in Manila.

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