THE BIG ONE. Supt. Achilles Santiago, BFP CamSur Provincial Fire Marshall, acting as CamSur Incident Management Team Commander during the simulated exercise. ANA-LIZA S. MACATANGAY
NAGA CITY --- More than 800 responders jointly dispatched by the Camarines Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council(PDRRMC) and the Naga City DRRMC trooped took to the mock-up area as part of the comprehensive National Response Plan in the event that the predicted “The Big One” will take place sooner or later.
As early as 5:00 a.m. yesterday, July 24, more than 600 responders from the various agencies re-trained and convened by the PDRRMC earlier this month gathered at the Evacuation Center building inside the Capitol Complex to prepare for the scheduled 24-hour Simulation Exercise (SimEx) for the 7.2 magnitude earthquake calculated to affect the greater Manila area.
Naga LGU, on the other hand, dispatched 228 responders to take part in the SimEx.
Naga City DRRMC, together with the Naga City Resiliency Council, Public Safety Office (PSO), Traffic Management Council (TMC), Traffic Direction and Control Personnel, and other volunteer support groups, served as lead agencies in facilitating the SimEx, with Naga playing the role as “Taguig” area.
The teams were directed to enact a rescue plan based on the following scenarios: collapse of old building near the gate with undetermined number of trapped victims and casualties, vehicular accident in front of the gate with 5 casualties, unconscious patient needing immediate medical assistance to be recovered at the vicinity and more or less 18 injured victims around Brgy. Penafrancia needing immediate medical attention.
In real scenarios, earthquake can also cause victims to be trapped in their location. Aside from buildings, victims can also be in inopportune and inconvenient places like bodies of water such as rivers. Thus, another scenario required the respondents to act on residents trapped while crossing the river, just below the Colgante bridge. Another scenario was a boat that capsized at the Bicol River, with 5 passengers.
Collapsed structure could also be prison walls thus, a scenario where 10 prisoners escaped from Penafrancia police sub-station was included as part of the simulation exercise.
All of these were part of the simulation activity to check what could go wrong if an uneventful occurrence, like the feared “Big One,” will happen.
He PDRRMC tasked Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Camarines Sur Provincial Fire Marshal Achilles Santiago to serve as the Incident Management Team Commander while Retired Navy Captain Edgardo Guevarra headed the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as Manager.
Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Camarines Sur Provincial Head, Ana-Liza Macatangay served as the EOC’s Public Information Officer.
SimEx is in line with the national government’s directive to invest in enhancing resilience and build much safer, adaptive and disaster-resilient Filipino communities towards sustainable development.
The activity, to last until today, also serves as highlight of the provincial government’s celebration of the National Disaster Resilience Month 2019 which formally opened on July 2 with the orientation of invited responders coming from various government agencies, communication groups and Municipal DRRMOs from the 35 municipalities and 2 cities of the province.
The simulation exercise will depict possible incident in Taguig City in Metro Manila along the West Valley Fault when the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, also called ‘The Big One’ transpires, with more than 600 responders from 39 member agencies and organizations, as well as all city and municipal DRRMOs of the province, as participants.
The City Events, Protocol and Public Information Office (CEPPIO) had earlier announced that no roads would be closed for the simulation exercises. However, residents, commuters, and passersby were advised that the Peñafrancia Avenue in this city would be busy.
The simulation exercises were expected to test the skills, inter-operability, and multi-agency coordination between and among the response units of the province.
The exercises are also meant to evaluate and assess the council’s capacity to augment the rescue units of Taguig City, while maintaining the safety and security of the people in Camarines Sur if the 7.2 magnitude earthquake happens.
“Naga City will be staged as Taguig City, which is the area assigned for augmentation and assistance of CamSur PDRRMC in case The Big One transpires. Meanwhile, Naga City is assigned to augment and assist Pateros during The Big One,” Bermeo said.
The Joint Simulation Exercise for The Big One features collapsed structure, high angle rescue, vehicle rescue, and many other incidents that are being staged along the length of Peñafrancia Avenue here.
To check if it can effectively respond to The Big One and assist Taguig City and Pateros, the areas assigned to CamSur and Naga City in the event of the big earthquake, the PDRRMC will be testing the level of its preparedness in responding to catastrophic disaster with the simulated exercises transpiring from 1:00 p.m. of July 24 until 1:00 p.m. of July 25 along Penafrancia Avenue here.
Specifically, participants and responders will be dealing with disaster response protocol and standard operating procedures on Mass Casualty Incident, sudden on-set, and slow on-set hazards. With reports from CamSurMultiMedia, ELEstropia- PIAV/Camarines Sur