Employees, students, coastal communities prepped for quakes, tsunamis

DAVAO ORIENTAL — Amidst the province’s vulnerability to natural disasters, especially to earthquake and tsunami, the Provincial Government through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) recently spearheaded an earthquake and tsunami drill.

On Monday, November 5, a “surprise” earthquake drill was first conducted during the flag raising ceremony at the Provincial Capitol.

Aimed at raising the level of preparedness of the Provincial Government Employees, the “surprise” conducted after the in time for the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill.

Provincial Administrator Art Benjie Bulaong, who was the Incident Commander during the activity, said that he was impressed with how the employees responded during the drill. Despite this, Bulaong said that more simulation exercise will be carried out so that casualties will be avoided during actual disasters.

“Little by little, employees here have learned how to respond during a disaster. They already know what to do. However, we will continue to conduct earthquake drill such as this so that there will be zero casualty in case of an earthquake. After this we will conduct an assessment to discuss issues and concerns on disaster response. Through the drill, we can assess what still needs to be done, what facilities are lacking, or the systems that needs to be enhanced,” he said.

Also, in observance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day, elementary students and the residents of the coastal village of Tamisan in the City have participated in a tsunami drill.

Situated along the coast facing the Pacific Ocean, Barangay Tamisan is vulnerable to tsunami occurrence when an 8.3 magnitude quake strikes said authorities from the PDRRMC.

During the activity, the team simulated rescue operation of three drowning victims.

Francis Jason Bendulo, PDRRMO Assistant Department Head, lauded the barangay officials as they have already established culture of preparedness in their community.

He said that residents have brought with them in the evacuation center “Go listo” bag and “e-balde” (emergency pail) which contained emergency kit, food, clothes, documents, among others. It is also an advantage for the barangay as they own one unit ambulance and has managed well their operation center.

“The residents here already knew what to prepare in case of a tsunami. However there are still a lot of things that needs to be done since we cannot predict when this calamity would happen. One of this is to establish warning systems,” said Bendulo.

In collaboration with the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), Davao Oriental Police Provincial Office (DOPPO), and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), a series of lectures were given to the residents. (pr-Riza M. Golez/LGU DavOr)