Urdaneta City, Pangasinan – The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council 1 (RDRRMC1) led the conduct of the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) in Urdaneta City University on Wednesday, September 28, 2016.
The Office of Civil Defense Region 1 (OCD R1) spearheaded the drill in collaboration with the local government of Urdaneta City and the management of UCU. The university was identified as the pilot area for Region 1 to promote the importance of disaster preparedness and mitigation to all stakeholders, especially the students. The drill also aimed to strengthen the response mechanism and interoperability of all local key players.
More than 6,000 faculty and students from UCU participated in the conduct of NSED with the worst case scenario of the possible impacts of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.
A symbolic one-minute alarm at 9:00 AM signified the start of the ground shaking. All participants executed the drop-cover-hold position which is considered as the safest action to reduce injury and death in the event of an earthquake. It was followed by the evacuation of the faculty and students to Urdaneta City National High School oval which was identified by the Disaster Management Committee as the safest area due to its open space.
Other LGUs, government agencies and private institutions in Region 1 also joined the NSED. Further, a widespread campaign and information dissemination was initiated through the use of social media by posting videos and photos accepting the Hashtag Pagyanig (#Pagyanig) Challenge.
Melchito M. Castro, OCD Regional Director and Chairperson of the Regional DRRM Council 1 emphasized that the partnership of the government and private sector in Disaster Risk Reduction is vital to ensure the survival of the Filipino people against the threat of an earthquake hazard.
“We can lessen and minimize the petrifying projection on the enormous impact of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake by participating to (earthquake) drills in our community,” he added. (OCD R1)