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Strong public support will help PH improve response to disasters: OCD

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The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) expressed gratitude for the public’s ongoing support of disaster preparedness activities on Thursday, highlighting the importance of such assistance for enhancing responsiveness and saving more lives during disasters like earthquakes.

“I appreciate all of your help. Thanks to your efforts, more people are aware of the risks that earthquakes pose, which has allowed us to further strengthen our preparedness measures “During this year’s fourth quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) at the Fisherman’s Wharf in Paranaque City, OCD administrator Undersecretary Raymundo Ferrer made a speech.

Ferrer, who also serves as the executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), also congratulated the citizens of the city and other participants from across the nation for taking part in the exercise.

Participants from the Regional DRRM Council, Regional OCD, national government organizations, local governing bodies, state universities and schools, members of the private sector, and NDRRMC partner organizations, as well as individuals who followed the event on various social media platforms, are all included.

“I express my gratitude to Mayor Eric Olivarez of Paraaque and his entire council for their warm reception and support of our fourth NSED for this year,” he continued. “Pinapasalamatan ko ang magiting na Punong Lungsod ng Paraaque, Mayor Eric Olivarez at ang kanyang buong sanggunian para sa mainit na pagtanggap at support sa ating ika

The OCD chief also encouraged everyone to regularly take part in training for preparation.

The 8.3 magnitude earthquake with a tsunami scenario was the focus of the seismic exercise on Thursday.

Mayor of Paranaque City Eric Olivarez stated that by simulating a tsunami scenario based on a fictitious magnitude 8.3 earthquake, “we shall be able to assess our preparedness and capability to mount a coordinated and effective response to minimize potential losses in lives and properties in such an eventuality.”

A large-scale exercise was carried out to test Paranaque City’s tsunami contingency plan, local community evacuation protocols, and services primarily for fishermen and other vulnerable groups.

The Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, and Philippine Air Force together demonstrated their capability for air and water rescue operations.

The NDRRMC advocated for environmental protection for this quarter’s NSED, highlighting the development of mangroves as one strategy to save coastal populations.

There is a natural protected area in Paranaque City that acts as a haven for numerous migratory and unique bird species.

The NDRRMC urged all local governments to follow Paraaque’s lead in protecting the mangroves as a project that would benefit both the environment and coastal residents.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the NDRRMC has conducted two face-to-face earthquake drills, the second of which is the fourth quarter NSED.

The first face-to-face exercise was conducted on September 8 in Makati City as part of the third quarter NSED in collaboration with the Makati local government and Ayala Corporation.

The acceptance of the earthquake and tsunami scenario supports World Tsunami Awareness Day, which was held on November 5 of this year.

PAF participates in the earthquake drill

On Thursday, the fourth quarter NSED included participation from the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

“The men and women of the PAF instantly executed the “Duck, Cover, and Hold” maneuver as soon as the alarm announcing the beginning of the simulated drill went off. According to the fourth quarter NSED organized by the NDRRMC on November 10, 2022, “Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo, a PAF spokesperson, said in a release.

She continued by saying that PAF troops then went to their designated evacuation locations to begin a program of awareness-raising, teaching, and communication about earthquakes and other natural disasters.

A medical team from the 505th Search and Rescue Group was in the process of simulating an aerial patient rescue while flying over Paranaque City on a PAF Sikorsky helicopter.

A simulated aerial fast damage assessment and needs analysis came after the aircraft evacuation.

The OCD’s Capacity-Building and Training Service assisted with the NSED work.

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