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ARMM holds multi-hazard simulation drill 

COTABATO CITY – Disaster and emergency authorities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) led the multi-hazard simulation drill on Thursday in the village of Kusiong in Maguindanao’s Datu Odin Sinsuat to test the regional and local government’s preparedness in responding to emergency situations.

The drill scenario is part of the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month that carries the theme “Pamilya at Pamayanang Handa, Katuwang sa Pag-unlad ng Bansa.”  This also conforms with the national government’s four-point plan on disaster preparedness specifically on public information, education, communication and disaster response. It was simultaneously done in government and non-government offices, and selected schools and establishments around the country.

Recently, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said a magnitude 7.2 earthquake might hit the Philippines anytime, particularly Metro Manila. “We are making our emergency preparations geared towards what we can do for our neighboring communities that’s why the constituents must be ready for any natural calamities,” said Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., ARMM’s chief of staff.

The drill aims at increasing and ensuring the safety of the people during and after the earthquake; evacuation of the affected constituents, with focus on women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities and in providing medical assistance and relief; train participants on the proper action and response during an earthquake; and assess various elements of the response plan designed by the government’s disaster management committee.

“Drills and exercises are part of the government’s continuing efforts in enhancing preparedness and awareness,” said ARMM’s Humanitarian Emergency and Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART) Director Ramil Masukat. ARMM-HEART has been actively promoting public awareness on earthquakes. It also installed an Earthquake Intensity Meter (EIM) to monitor 24/7 earthquakes occurring in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, and nearby towns. The same equipment was also installed in the province of Tawi-Tawi. The EIM measures and displays the seismic scale when an earthquake occurs. It also records and stores various data that are associated with the earthquake.

“I think it will be good and beneficial for all of us to be trained as to how to respond to a situation like an earthquake,” said Masukat. He also underscored the importance of the people’s readiness and vigilance that can increase every individual’s chances of surviving any disaster.” (Bureau of Public Information)

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