Court employees simulate escape from building during earthquake drill
It was all too real.
As soon as the sirens were sounded off, the Supreme Court’s guards ordered employees to drop and shield themselves amid the “shaking.” When the ground was again still, employees rushed out of the building, their arms above their heads.
“Hurry! Hurry! Stop laughing!,” one of the guards yelled, in character with his sense of urgency and tone of voice.
From down the street, Court of Appeals employees came rushing out, stopping traffic as they ran to the evacuation area at Paco Park across Taft Avenue. In a few minutes, rescuers were ready to locate the missing, responding to an “explosion” at the high court’s cafeteria.
In just over an hour, the judiciary stopped the business of the day to participate in the metro-wide shake drill, a government initiative that simulated evacuation, search, rescue and retrieval operations in the event of a West Valley Fault movement, spurring a 7.2-magnitude quake.
Justices were among those seen during the evacuation of some 2,000, including Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Perez and Court of Appeals Associate Justice Remedios Salazar-Fernando.
Under the high court’s scenario, two employees were “killed” at the court’s cafeteria. Several were seen being assisted with injuries.
Around 11:30 a.m., guards declared the building clear. Work resumed in the afternoon.