HNU impresses DND, OCD during Q1 NSED

The evacuation was quick, orderly and things worked like clockwork, but there is never really one good drill that could be rated perfect until disaster arrives and there is zero casualty.
Thus hints Department of National Defense (DND) Major Aristotle Antonio who, along with other DND officials and the Office of the Civil Defense in Central Visayas validated the conduct of Holy Name University’s (HNU) part in the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for the first quarter of 2019, set last February 21 at 2:00 PM.
But while the regular conduct of simulation exercises and disaster drills may not be enough, allowing people to have an idea what to do and where to go during such disasters is already a big step towards attaining zero casualty, says Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) Assistant Regional Director Engr. VerneilBalaba.
Both Balaba and the DND observed the conduct of the HNU earthquake (EQ Drill) drill made complex by mass casualty incident where a simulated fire has caused “mock injuries,” to trigger school emergency response teams.
The NSED was also done in several parts of the country, to allow communities to go through the standard processes in disaster response to instill in everyone the automatic response needed so everyone can be oriented and can thus do what they have to, to be safe and to avoid confusion which can result to injuries.
The Philippines sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire is in constant threat of earthquakes and earthquake generated tsunamis, that the drills can be very effective in guiding people on what to do in the event of an earthquake, and where to pass through to the evacuation areas and not cause any traffic that can also disrupt the flow of evacuees.
While the NSED in this quarter was centered in Ilo-ilo, local authorities in consultation with the OCD picked HNU, one of the schools in Tagbilaran with huge population which may become an evacuation concern.
The Provincial Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) and the City DRRMC also picked HNU and set up support response teams while also sending evaluation teams to assess on the conduct of the drill.
That same day, another city based NSED was also done in Manga District and the disaster team put up an earthquake based tsunami response in the coastal district that faces Maribojoc Bay.
However, the conduct of NSED have yet to go to local government units.
Despite the calls from the DND and the OCD for more and more communities getting into the disaster preparedness test, several local government units appear to have not heard.
In fact, despite the clear guidelines for buildings as stipulated in the national building code which assures that buildings can survive earthquakes stronger than the Bohol 7.2 magnitude, LGUs building officials care less.
The NBC has pushed for the 6 inches cinder blocks and hollow blocks and 10 mm deformed steel bars as the standard measurements to be used in building constructions.
Several building officials however do not inspect the constructions in their areas of responsibility to see if the construction specifications are followed for safer buildings especially those designed for habitation.
With subpar materials, chances of houses giving in to tremors can be dangerous traps for family members, even if they religiously follow the standard duck, hold and cover. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

EVACUATING THIS MUCH could be tricky but the Holy Name University, which has thoroughly planned for each of the compound’s buildings evacuation plan that getting their students from the classrooms to the open evacuation ground in an orderly manner took less time, this also assures lesser possible casualty in the evnety of a strong earthquake, says the DND. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

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