Seaborne hospital, evacuation eyed in event of killer quake
— Yuji Gonzales (@YGonzalesINQ) July 30, 2015
In case of a potentially destructive earthquake that may hit the metropolis, the government plans to evacuate critically injured victims to a hospital ship in Manila Bay.
This was what the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) exercised during seaborne evacuation simulation of the Metro Manila Shake Drill on Thursday at Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
Seven individuals who played quake victims were carried to pump boats along the bay, where they will be transported to a PCG hospital ship some 500 meters away from land.
Highlighting the importance of sea evacuation in the event that roads will be heavily damaged, PCG Commander Armand Balilo said the ship has doctors, medical teams, and equipment on board.
“Ang scenario kasi hindi na madaanan ‘yung mga kalsada at kailangan nang gamitin ‘yung tubig para ma-evacuate ito. Ito ‘yung ina-assume natin na magiging kritikal ‘yung mga kalagayan at kailangang maitakbo agad sa ospital,” Balilo said.
(In the scenario that roads are no longer passable, we need to use bodies of water to evacuate the victims. We are assuming this scenario as victims turn critical and need to be rushed to the hospital immediately.)
While the pump boats and the hospital ship are primarily reserved for seriously injured victims, Balilo said they can also accommodate other evacuees.
“’Yung immediate (cases) lang ang usapan namin, ‘yung mga critical lang. Kung kaunti naman ‘yung critical na victims, gagamitin din natin ito pang evacuation, dahil tourist spot itong Manila. Pwede pang gamitin sa mga kakabayan nating kakailanganin pa ng evacuation,” Balilo said.
(We are only talking about immediate cases, the critical ones. But if the number of victims in critical condition is low, we can also use the ship for evacuation as Manila is a tourist spot. We can also use it to evacuate other people.)
In the event that there would be more casualties than expected, Balilo said they will seek the help of the Philippine Air Force for a possible aerial evacuation.
“Pagkatapos nito, kung talagang hindi makaya nu’ng mga doctors on board, tatawagan namin ‘yung Air Force para naman abangan o kaya magkaroon ng helicopter evacuation from the boat papunta ng hospital,” he said.
(If the doctors get swamped, we will contact the Air Force so they can airlift the victims and evacuees from the ship to hospitals.)
On Thursday, the entire Metro Manila took part in an earthquake drill in preparation for a 7.2-magnitude killer quake dubbed as “The Big One.”
Employees from nearby establishments and offices in the Manila Bay area, including Landbank, Diamond Hotel, Ramon Magsaysay Center, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, participated in the metro-wide event.
The service road of Roxas Boulevard was also closed to motorists during the drill. IDL
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