by Shaine Mae R. Nagtalon
OZAMIZ CITY, Misamis Occidental (PIA)–To help the students prepare for a possible catastrophic earthquake, the Ozamiz City National High School, in coordination with the Ozamiz City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, participated in the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill 2023, March 9, at 2:00 p.m.
Around 4,000 students performed the duck, cover, and hold position upon alarm and conducted simulations on proper evacuation procedures.
School Principal Lilibeth Abamonga shared the importance of preparedness and disaster resilience.
“Important kaayo dili lang mga kabatan-onan kun dili dapat kami tanan sa school community, including our parents, dapat makabalo gyud sila unsa’y atong dapat buhaton in times nga naa’y mga emergency like earthquake,” she said.
(It is very important, not only to the youth but to all of us in the school community, including our parents. They should know what we should do in times of emergencies like an earthquake)
She also mentioned that the Philippine Red Cross had trained the students on how to rescue victims in case there were any untoward incidents at the school, not just during this earthquake but also in case of other emergencies.
The head of the CDRRMO, Dondon Guangco, said the drill will give students, teachers, and non-teaching staff of the school the right skills and mindset to respond to earthquakes and handle their effects well.
“Para ma-test unsa sila ka andam, ilang response, ilang mga resources available nga kinahanglan gamiton ug i-mobilize, as well as malantaw sad ang capacity ug capability sa teaching force nga mo respond if in case duna’y mahitabo,” Guangco expressed.
(To test how prepared they are, their response, their available resources that must be used and mobilized, as well as the capacity and capability of the teaching force to respond in case something happens)
Guangco also encouraged families to share awareness about earthquake preparedness with their children.
“Para maandam ta inkaso og duna’y mahitabo because ang linog wala’y pananghid, wala’y schedule ug wala’y time frame. Ang linog it could happen anytime; ang atoa na lang unsa ta ka andam. Sa atoa labi na nga ing-ani nga dinaghan ang ma-involve sa exercise, ang atoa na lang nga makabalo ang mga bata from time to time, makahinumdom sila sa basics like duck, cover, and hold, dayon dili magdali, kalma lang after sa shaking hinay-hinay lang ug exit from the building,” he added.
(To be ready in case something happens because the earthquake has no request, no schedule, and no time frame. An earthquake could happen anytime; it’s up to us how prepared we are. In ours, especially since there are many people involved in the exercise, we want the children to know that from time to time, they can remember the basics like duck, cover, and hold, then don’t rush, calm down after the shake slowly, and exit from the building)
On the other hand, some 15 students at Ozamiz City National High School experienced hyperventilation after the drill.
The CDRRMO, Philippine Red Cross, City Health Office, Red Cross Youth, Supreme Student Government, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and Marshalls responded to the incident.
Local evaluators were present during the earthquake drill, including the CDRRMC, Philippine National Police (PNP), PNP Maritime, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), City Engineering’s Office, Radio Emergency Communication Network Groups, Kabalikat, and Kaakibat Civicom International Inc.
The school activity is meant to help students and staff understand the school’s emergency plans for disasters and make sure they are safe if an earthquake hits unexpectedly.(SMRN/PIA-10/Misamis Occidental)