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Capitol conducts surprise quake drill

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Cebu Provincial Government conducted its first unannounced earthquake drill in line with the national simultaneous earthquake drill yesterday.

Despite media exposure in the past days, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) purposely did not announce the said drill as committed to be done from the last conducted drill.

“Wehad been preparing for this simulation hoping to duplicate, if not exceed, the previous earthquake drills, said Raphael Luche of PDRRMO Emergency Rescue division.

13516731_1122755601099675_5517766116060677133_nAt exactly 8:45am, Wednesday, siren alarms rang aroundthe Capitol compound signaling the start of the drill.

Employees took safety actions such as duck, cover, and hold as they evacuated the building. PDRRMO checked the Capitol vicinity then announced no casualties, incidents and missing individuals at 9:17am.

The Provincial Health Office added that they were wellprepared withtwo ambulancesand medical teams on standby.

A total of 625 evacuees were well-accounted for including employees and visitors on their designated evacuation areas.

Afterwards, PDRRMO assessed the overall preparedness and awareness of the employees.Responsiveness of the employees was rated four out of ten.

“The entire evacuation took five minutes but since most employees were surprised by the drill, it is alright. Hopefully in the next drills, we will achieve a three-minute evacuation time,” said Luche.PDRRMOalso suggested improvements and recommendations to improve the awareness and responsiveness of the people.

They will be conducting seminars and trainings for volunteers in the Capitol to form an in-house emergency rescue teamin preparation for any unpredictable incidents and disasters like earthquake.

They are also planning to coordinate with local government units to expand the capability awareness in the Province. (Lianne Llesol with CIT-U intern Cassandra Yu)