Legarda urges public to take quake drill seriously
Senator Loren Legarda is urging citizens to join the second Metro Manila Shake Drill on Wednesday, June 22, saying everyone should take disaster preparedness seriously.
“Everyone is encouraged to participate in the earthquake drill and take the exercise seriously. Earthquakes can occur without warning, there is no way to predict what will happen when it does, but there is a way to be able to survive and minimize casualties and damages. Preparation is half the battle won,” Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change, said in a statement on Monday.
“We need to accept that we are constantly exposed to natural hazards but we do not have to live in perpetual fear of it. There are laws that aim to help us become proactive to addressing these natural hazards so they would not turn into disasters. We need to take disaster preparedness seriously and cooperation among all sectors of society is very important,” she added.
Legarda made the call as concerned government agencies and private institutions prepare for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s earthquake drill.
The exercise, she said, was based on the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2004.
The senator said that based on the 2004 MMEIRS study, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila could destroy 40% of residential buildings, cause 34,000 deaths, injure 114,000 individuals, and the ensuing fires might also result in 18,000 additional fatalities.
Legarda insisted that the regular conduct of fire and earthquake drills in schools, offices and residential communities would effectively instill disaster preparedness among citizens.
She said she also wants the establishment of early warning systems for earthquake and tsunami, determining of open spaces for safe refuge when temblors occur, and crafting of evacuation plans that would help citizens find out the fastest and safest way to reach open spaces and other safe areas. JE
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