HI participates in nationwide shake drill

Members of the HCT meet with Usec. Alexander P. Pama of the NDRRMC-OCD during the nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill on 22 June 2016.

In 2015, the Philippine Government, through the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOCS), started its intensive awareness campaign to prepare the public for an expected 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

This expected earthquake will be triggered by the movement of the West Valley Fault (WVF) which has a recorded movement interval of 400 years. The last recorded major movement of the WVF was in 1658 and scientists are expecting it to move again within this lifetime.

The WVF is stretches for 100 kilometers and transects major cities of Metro Manila, namely: Quezon City, Marikina City, Makati City, Pasig City, Taguig City and Muntinlupa City. Other than Metro Manila, movement of the WVF will also affect some parts of the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna which will affect several hundred thousands of lives and millions of pesos of economic impact.

One of the efforts of the government to minimize the effects of the expected earthquake is to perform a national simultaneous earthquake drill. The first drill was conducted on 23 July 2015 and it has been successful in garnering active participation of the private sector and the general public.

Following its success, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-Office of Civil Defense (NDRRMC-OCD) led the second national simultaneous earthquake drill on 22 June 2016 at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Recognizing the need for international humanitarian response when hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, the Philippine Government invited the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) to join the drill to practice the processes in requesting and coordinating international resources.

The HCT is a forum led by the Humanitarian Coordinator and is composed of representatives of the United Nations, International Organization for Migration, international non-government organizations and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement. They are responsible for agreeing on common strategic issues related to humanitarian action. Handicap International is a member of the HCT.