Education Secretary Armin Luistro has ordered all public and private schools to participate in a nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill at 9 a.m. Monday to “intensify and level up” earthquake preparedness.
Luistro urged schools in coastal areas to include a drill in case of an earthquake-triggered tsunami.
He also encouraged schools to include “challenging activities” in the drill, such as simulating fire after an earthquake and having evacuation routes blocked.
At the start of classes last June, Luistro directed that quarterly earthquake and fire drills be conducted in public and private schools in coordination with local disaster risk reduction and management councils.
He said that having regular earthquake drills would not only generate awareness of disaster risks but would also “assess the capacity levels of schools and the communities in the eventuality of disasters and emergencies.”
“Preparedness and mitigation are key strategies in reducing disaster risk,” Luistro said in his order.
Of the 85 earthquakes recorded by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) last month, 11 measured above intensity 5, which can cause destruction.
The strongest earthquake registered last month occurred on Nov. 3 in Tandag, Surigao del Sur, which measured intensity 6.5.
The most recent tremor was detected on Dec. 1 in Masbate at intensity 2.9.
Earthquakes cannot be predicted although Phivolcs has identified earthquake fault zones. Dona Z. Pazzibugan