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Central Visayas RDRRMC updates contingency plan for ‘The Big One’

Ricky John Mingming of the Lapu-Lapu Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office being interviewed by the Philippine Information Agency on the updating of the contingency plan for ‘The Big One’ or the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Manila. (PIA7)

CEBU CITY, Cebu (PIA) -- "This contingency plan updating is very important because through it, we will know how to respond if ‘The Big One’ were to happen in Manila."

This was the reaction of Ricky John Mingming, 36, of the Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, on the importance of updating the region’s contingency plan for ‘The Big One’ or the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Manila.

Mingming was one of the participants during the contingency planning conducted by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) in support of the Harmonized National Contingency Plan.

A responder at the local government unit (LGU), Mingming said one of the preparations that needs to be done is the augmentation of personnel, especially since not all members of the RDRRMC will be responders in Manila.

Dili man sad pwede nga tanan team ipadala sa Manila kay simbako naa unya sad mahitabo diri sa Lapu-Lapu or sa Cebu,” said Mingming.

(It's not possible to send all teams to Manila in case emergencies take place in Lapu-Lapu or in Cebu.) 

He added that when it comes to search and rescue for collapsed structures, the Lapu-Lapu City is capacitating their responders through trainings. 

“Dili pa jud ta makaingun nga well-prepared ta sa search and rescue sa collapsed structure, pero naa mi training course ani para kung na’ay mahitabo nga earthquake kahibalo mi unsaon pagrespond ug pagreact sa sitwasyon,” Mingming added.

(While we cannot confidently claim to be fully prepared for search and rescue efforts in collapsed structures, we have undergone training courses to enhance our readiness.)

National Contingency Plan

The Harmonized National Contingency Plan is intended for the 7.2 magnitude earthquake scenario resulting from the movement of the West Valley Fault (WVF), which will not only affect Metro Manila but also the nearby regions of Central Luzon and CALABARZON.

The WVF scenario was derived from the results of the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS) conducted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Metro Manila Development Authority, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency from August 2002 to March 2004.

According to the said study, there are 18 earthquake scenarios that may affect Metro Manila and its nearby vicinity.

The worst-case scenarios identified in the MMEIRS are Scenario 8, which is an earthquake generated by the WVF with a 7.2 magnitude that could lead to severe damage in Metro Manila, and Scenario 13, which is caused by the Manila trench with a 7.9 magnitude earthquake and the occurrence of a tsunami.

Members of the RDRRMC7 convene for the updating of the region’s contingency plan for "The Big One" as part of the Harmonized National Contingency Plan for the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Manila. (PIA7)
Updating is ‘very crucial’

Engr. Ver Neil Balaba, officer-in-charge of the Office of Civil Defense 7, said that updating the contingency plan is very crucial, especially in the event of ‘The Big One” in Manila.

“We have to gather all the members so that we can determine our positions, whom to call, what to bring, and whether we'll travel by sea or by airplane,” said Balaba.

“With the updating, we are able to know who will be the first, second, and third wave responders,” he added.

OCD reported that in case the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Emergency Operations Center in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, will be compromised, the RDRRMC7 will send a team to Clark, Pampanga to re-establish the alternate EOC.

Based on the MMEIRS and Metro Manila Earthquake Contingency Plan or ‘Oplan Metro Yakal Plus,’ Metro Manila is projected to be separated into four quadrants due to the collapse of roads, bridges, and transportation access, namely the north, south, east, and west quadrants.

RDRRMC7 was identified as the second wave responders of the north quadrant or Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and CALABARZON. 

Aside from the resources coming from the regional line agencies, there are LGUs here that volunteered to be the twin LGU of the affected LGUs.

For Central Luzon, Lapu-Lapu City and Talisay City volunteered to be the second wave responders.

For North 1 sector of Metro Manila, the provinces of Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Cebu will assist the cities of Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas, while in the North 2 sector of Metro Manila, the second wave responders for Quezon City will be from Cebu City and Mandaue City.

Balaba urged the national government agencies to also craft their own contingency plans. 

“If your offices have contingency plans already in place for ‘The Big One,’ the better. But I suggest each office do refresher trainings because what you might know about emergency response in 2015 will be different today,” said Balaba. (MYP/PIA7 Cebu)

About the Author

Myrtle Pasigan

Information Officer

Region 7

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