Pagadian observes disaster consciousness month

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By Gideon C. Corgue (FPG/GCC/Pagadian/Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, July 28 (PIA) – To enhance the disaster response and recovery skills of the emergency responders, the Pagadian City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) on Friday conducted an earthquake and fire simulation drill at the City Commercial Center (C3) here.

CDRRMC action officer Hardon Damada said the drill was also in support of the observance of National Disaster Consciousness Month this July, which carries the theme “Pamilya at Pamayanang Handa, Katuwang sa Pag-unlad ng Bansa.”

Damada said, the drill was conducted to highlight the government’s capability in responding to emergency situations specifically in the management of the incident command system (ICS), evacuation of the affected populace, establishment of evacuation areas, and providing medical assistance.

The drill also ensures the safety of the respondents as well as the public in the conduct of search and rescue for trapped and injured persons, in controlling and/or containing the fire, providing free hospital treatment and transporting injured persons as well as initiating security measures and crowd control, and traffic flow management.

Damada said the CDRRMC created a scenario as if an intensity 7 quake struck the city at 10 a.m. last Friday.

At the sound of the siren everyone inside the building including the stall owners, salesladies, and shoppers were instructed by the incident commander to perform “drop, cover, and hold” and to leave the building after the shaking is over using the exit doors and go to an open space.

He said responders from the CDRRMC, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Red Cross, and Philippine Army and Philippine National Police were also trained to perform the search, rescue and retrieval operations of the 20 trapped and injured persons inside the building.

Damada said health personnel from the government and private hospitals actively participated in the drill by transporting the presumed injured persons in the hospitals using their own ambulance.

The CMDRRMC action officer said he was elated to see the active involvement of the emergency responders in the one-hour drill, adding that in case a natural disaster, they can quickly and appropriately respond to emergency situations.

It can be recalled that a strong quake occurred in Pagadian City on August 17, 1976, causing tsunami that left 5,000 people dead and 3,000 missing.