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PIA Press Release

RDRRMC prepares Bicol for earthquakes

Legazpi City (22 June) -- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC), formerly, Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC), staged Friday (June 18) a highly visible display of local responders' capabilities on earthquake disaster response in a drill based on a scenario set by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) and Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO).

Civil Defense Bicol Regional Director Rafy Aljandro cited the earthquake drill, held at the Ago Medical ad Educational Center (AMEC) grounds here has showcased the critical emergency response operations within the "golden hour" (read: the first 72 hours following the earthquake) including fire suppression, collapsed structure search and rescue, high angle rescue, helicopter hoist/rescue, mass casualty incident management, and evacuation, among others.

Alejandro IV furthered that the drill is set to determine the capability of AFP and other agencies tasked to respond in this kind disaster.

"We will also evaluate the capacity of the local disaster response teams in the local government unit level in dealing with this kind of eventuality, as early as now we can easily determine what aspects are we going to develop to exemplary perform the disaster response," he added.

Some 500 individuals, including disaster managers and responders, school officials and students of AMEC high school and college, hospital personnel, paramedics and actors participated in the drill that turned dramatic and almost real, successful, and considered to be one of the best drills staged in the region.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), with Naval Forces Southern Luzon (NAVFORSOL), and other member-agencies of the RDRRMC crafted the design and execution of the Earthquake Rescue Response for the Bicol Region.

The Navy has dispatched its disaster response and rescue teams compose of fifteen (15) personnel who are trained on extricating and life saving participated to the said drill.

Similar drill was also conducted in all public and private schools, and selected public-government buildings, private business/commercial establishments, public and private hospitals, and other establishments in compliance to the memorandum of National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), formerly, National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) in line with the 2nd Quarter 2010 Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill with a theme "One Nation, One People, One Response".

The nationwide drill is part of the continuing efforts of the government's Four Point Plan of Action for Disaster Preparedness.

Commodore Joel E Babas NAVFORSOL commander and one of the drill's team leader, said that this kind of exercise will make us aware and prepare of initial actions in case that an earthquake may occur.

"For rescuers, this will develop our capability and efficient working relationship among disaster response teams with an interoperability that is very essential in accomplishing the rescue mission," Babas said. (DPRamon PAO NAVFORSOL/PIA) [top]

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