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Earthquake drill cited as effective preparation for the 'big one'

Philippine Information Agency
27 Nov 2019, 22:38 GMT+10

CABA, La Union, Nov. 27 (PIA) - - The regular conduct of the earthquake drill was cited as an effective mode of preparation for the unpredictable occurrence of the 'big one', according to Director Melchito M. Castro of the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Region 1.

Castro made the statement during the conduct of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) held in the regional pilot area in Caba town on Nov. 14, 2019.

He said, the "big one" is the description given by the Phivolcs to a scenario when the movements along the West Valley fault system could trigger a 7.2 magnitude quake.

"We should concentrate on the conduct of more earthquake drills because this is proven as the best way to prepare the residents on the sudden movement of the West Valley fault line that will enhance the eruption of at least 7.2 magnitude earthquake," said Castro.

On the recent risk analysis of the researchers in the country, Castro said that more or less 35,000 persons are estimated to perish and millions of residents will be evacuated, particularly those living in Metro Manila, if a 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurs.

It was also assessed that the eruption of the "big one" will cause the country's estimated economic loss of around P2.269 trillion.

The last major earthquake triggered by the sudden movement of the West Valley Fault happened in 1658. Experts theorized that the said fault line, a part of the Marikina Valley Fault System, is already matured to cause a major earthquake at any time.

"These series of simulation earthquake drills aims to give internalization to every person the proper skills, activities, and behaviors for safety once a strong tremor occurs," said Castro.

Alma Caradon, a teacher of the Caba Elementary Schoool, said that one of the earthquake preparedness measures of their school children is their active participation in the special and routine quarterly drills.

During the 4th quarter NSED, at least 700 students from the Caba Elementary School joined the drill.

"Apart from our participation in simulation earthquake exercises, we also discussed several safety tips during an earthquake and other forms of disaster forums," she said. (JCR/FGL, PIA 1)

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