NDRRMC initially schedules the earthquake drill on September 21. The drills are postponed after President Duterte declared it as a National Day of Protest
MANILA, Philippines (Sept. 22, 2017) — The 3rd Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill will be held on Wednesday, September 27, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) announced on Friday, September 22, through its Facebook page.
The earthquake drill was bumped off after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended all government work and classes on September 21, declaring it as “national day of protest’ in observance of the 45th year of the Martial Law declaration.
Netizens also raised their concerns over the untimely schedule of the earthquake drill, which would have likely coincided with rallies scheduled by various groups with thousands in attendance.
Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Spokesperson Romina Marasigan, however, clarified that the earthquake drill meant for on September 21 was not intended to undermine or divert attention from the protests and related activities.
The NDRRMC and OCD test the preparedness plans and readiness of local government units and local responders during the nationwide drill. The activity is scheduled once every 3 months and usually falls on the last month of every quarter.
To spread awareness and start earthquake preparedness at homes and workplaces, NDRRMC also encouraged netizens to harness social media in influencing their friends to participate in the earthquake drill. The official hashtag for this year’s 3rd NSED is #BidaAngHanda.
According to research, the “Big One” or the movement of the West Valley Fault is expected to happen within our lifetime. It is estimated to cause a 7.2 magnitude quake in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.
At least 35,000 people could die, with thousands more potentially injured by a quake of that magnitude, the study estimated.