Ormoc City proudly hosted the warning buzzer ceremony that signaled the start of 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) for 2019 on Thursday, Aug. 8, in the Ormoc City Sports Complex. Local government employees, students, and teachers in elementary, secondary, and tertiary schools, local businesses and police officers from various city and municipal stations joined “Bida Ang Handa” campaign of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
#theCityOfBeautifulPeople, spearheaded by Mayor Richard Gomez, simulated their responses based on their contingency plan on a 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake with the epicenter situated along the Leyte segment of the Philippine Fault after. To recall, Ormoc City experienced a 6.5-magnitude earthquake, with countless aftershocks, in 2017, which damaged various structures in the city and pushed Ormocanons to relocate in safer places.
In a short message, Civil Defense Deputy Administrator for Administration Kristoffer James E. Purisima highlighted the importance of instilling a culture of disaster preparedness among Filipinos and promote disaster awareness. He also explained that the drill aims to boost the mechanism for national and regional coordination, as well as the ability to work together with other key players.
Assistant secretary Purisma, during a press briefing following the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED), congratulated Ormoc City for the successful simulation. “The more we prepare, the less we need to respond,” he said, adding that safety is everyone’s responsibility.
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) Supervising Science Research Specialist Jeffrey Perez urged the public to prepare for a possible intensity 8 earthquake that may hit the northern part of Leyte. He also shared the predicted magnitude 8.2 quake in Samar, which may trigger tsunamis as well as multiple hazards in the eastern parts of Samar and Leyte islands.
DSWD-Disaster Response Management Group Undersecretary Felicismo Budiongan encouraged the local government units to prepare and continue conducting information drives, especially those in the hazardous areas so residents would take proper actions and response. He even shared that DSWD conducts community-based disaster risk reduction management training to support the national and local governments’ disaster risk reduction and management operations.
Other personalities present during the press briefing were ASec. Manuel B. Felix (DILG, Assistant for Peace and Order), Dir. Edgardo M. Esperancilla, CESO III (DOST-8, Regional Director), Dir. Henry Anthony M. Torres (OCD-8, Regional Director), Dir. Susan Juangco (OCD-CBTS, Service Director), and MGen. Ruben Carandang (AFP) Ret. (OCD-MIMAROPA, Regional Director).