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OCD sets 2nd Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on June 28

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In preparation for a catastrophic seismic activity, commonly referred to by disaster experts as the “Big One,” the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) has scheduled a Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for the second quarter of the year at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, June 28.

According to the OCD, the activity will highlight the activation of the Harmonized National Contingency Plan (HNCP) for a possible magnitude-7.2 tremor that may hit Metro Manila due to movement in the West Valley fault.

The plan establishes key Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (RDRRMCs) across Luzon that will assist the National Capital Region from north, east, west and south sectors in case a powerful earthquake strikes.

Assigned to support Metro Manila from the north is the RDRRMC from the Ilocos Region (North 1 and 2), Cagayan Valley for the east sector, Cordillera Administrative Region for the west, and Bicol Region from the south (South 1 and 2).

“The assisting RDRRMCs are set to arrive in Metro Manila and will establish alternate emergency operations centers in the designated areas,” according to the OCD.

“Each assisting RDRRMC has a search, rescue, and retrieval (SRR) team; an incident management team (IMT); and an emergency operations center (EOC) team composed of various government agencies from the region,” the agency added.

The venue for this quarter’s NSED will be at the RED Training Center in Pasig City, where the full-scale exercise will be conducted. SRR teams from the uniformed services and the assisting RDRRMCs will be there, simulating a collapsed structure with victims.

The IMTs and EOC teams will be in the designated locations where communication and coordination exercises will be conducted.

The alternate Government Command and Control Center (GCCC) at Fort Magsaysay will also be activated and serve as the National DRRM Operations Center, in case the NDRRMC headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City becomes non-operational due to the quake.

As usual, the “duck, cover, and hold” routine will be performed by Pasig local government unit personnel present and other participants.

Other stakeholders and the general public are enjoined to participate in the NSED, spearheaded by the DRRMCs at all levels.

The HNCP is intended for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake scenario with a Level 8 intensity, which may affect Metro Manila and nearby provinces in Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

The West Valley fault moved four times in the span of 1,400 years with an interval of 400 to 600 years. The last major earthquake generated by this fault was in 1658 or 366 years ago.

“It traverses Metro Manila areas, including Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, and Muntinlupa as well as nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna,” said the OCD, which held the first NSED in March this year.

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