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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hundreds join earthquake drill in Maluso

by Rene V. Carbayas
ISABELA CITY, Basilan – Over 700 students and teachers from Maluso town recently participated in the nationwide earthquake drill at Claret School of Maluso.

At the sound of the siren, the earthquake drill started and students executed the evacuation procedures and simulated rescue and response to victims. Participants evacuated at the open ground of the campus and rescue teams led by Philippine Red Cross volunteers were immediately deployed to recover the victims, conduct first aid, and bring them to open field.

Before the drill, an orientation about disaster preparedness and earthquake drill was conducted with resource persons from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-BASULTA, the Philippine Information Agency in Basilan, and the Philippine Red Cross.

In his message, Maluso town Mayor Hani Bud underscored the importance of the drill to inculcate in the people’s consciousness to be always prepared in times of disaster.

“We are privileged that the national government agencies hold this activity here in Maluso to give us basic information on what shall we do in times of calamities,” the mayor said as he recognized the vulnerability of the country to natural calamities.

He underscored the importance of acquiring basic knowledge and information about calamities and disaster in order to appropriately respond and prevent widespread consequences or repercussions.

He said that in spite of calamities like fire, typhoons, earthquake, that frequently hit the country, “we have not created concrete measures in order to lessen the damage.”

“I still have to give my order to the DRRM officer to ensure that you can reach us 24/7 in times of emergency. Your local government is always ready to respond to calamities and emergencies,” he declared.

He urged the participants and students to “walk the talk” and “practice what we preach” after acquiring information from different speakers and called on the public to be proactive.

Dionisio Mondejar and Rene Mabilog of OCD led the orientation on Disaster Information Nationwide Awareness (DINA) that outlined the procedures for earthquake drills.

Meanwhile, Claret School of Maluso President, Fr. Julius Boado, CMF was grateful and expressed that the school will always be open for this type of activity, especially for the good and welfare of the community.

“I hope this will not be the first and the last as this is the desire of Claret community to collaborate and interact for the good of the municipality and the province,” he said.

Observers noted that students must imbibe in their consciousness the value of the drill in order to properly respond to disasters and calamities that may strike Maluso town in the future.