ITOGON, Benguet, Nov. 14 (PIA) - - The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC), in partnership with the municipal government of this mining town, successfully conducted the regional 4th Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) here today.
NSED generally aims to comprehensively assess the local DRRM Council's implementation of disaster response and contingency plans and look into the strength and weaknesses of response procedures so that actionable recommendation can be provided on how to further improve the concept of operation and cohesiveness of interoperability among the local DRRM council members, OCD - CAR Training Officer Arianie Christie Atolba said.
In this NSED that commenced with an earthquake siren at 9:00 a.m., the Itogon MDRRMC tested their multiple incident response capability with drill scenarios that included evacuation and structural fire with Search and Rescue (SAR) for three injured individuals at the municipal hall; evacuation and SAR at the Pacalso National High School; a vehicular accident at Barangay Poblacion, and a landslide incident at a residential house along barangay Ucab.
The CRDRRMC provided the umpires from the regional offices of the Office of Civil Defense, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Reserve Command, the Philippine Military Academy, Philippine Air Force Tactical Operation Group 1, Benguet Provincial Health Office and Philippine Information Agency.
The umpires evaluated the local DRRM Councils Emergency Operation Center, IMT and health cluster operations as well as the emergency responders' handling of law and order, road traffic, SAR implementation, evacuation procedures, emergency telecommunications, debris clearing and civil works, fire suppressant and public information management, among others.
The CRDRRMC considered Itogon as regional NSED pilot area to test the Municipal DRRM Council's incident management and disaster response capabilities that have been strengthened since their horrible experience with Typhoon Ompong in 2018.
Itogon was the hardest hit town in Cordillera during Typhoon Ompong with massive landslides killing more than 100 people, mostly small scale miners, and the displacement of many families.
The DRRM councils are mandated to spearhead preparedness and response policies through simulations of scenario-based activities. With this NSED, considering Itogon's past experience, they can assess their ways forward on disaster resiliency.
Mayor Victorio Palangdan thanked the CRDRRMC, the local DRRM Council and the responders and volunteers who joined the NSED as he stressed the importance of such activity in ensuring their readiness to respond during earthquake incident.
Palangdan also called for continuing partnership in ensuring the safety of the people of Itogon from any type of disaster or emergency as well as in protecting their environment in order to lessen hazards that climate change may bring. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)