Military joins earthquake drills

June 18, 2010 8:23 pm 

MANILA, June 18 — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) joined the 2nd Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Friday afternoon at the Camp Emilio Aguinaldo General Headquarters Building, one of the four pilot sites in Metro Manila.

The three other earthquake drills were conducted at the B.S. Aquino High School in Makati City which simulated a school premises setting, at the Ortigas Center Association Inc. for a commercial area, and at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City for a hospital situation. The Camp Emilio Aguinaldo drill was for a government building scene.

The AFP Disaster Response Task Force, through the National Capital Region Disaster Response Task Group and General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command Task Units, led the drill at Camp Aguinaldo.

The exercise was assisted by different units, namely:

The National Capital Region Disaster Response Task Group that will set up command post to oversee the deployment of operation; the Camp Aguinaldo Fire Station that will prevent fires from starting; the 505th Search and Rescue Group of the Philippine Air Force to provide helicopter bucket carrying water for aerial firefighting;

The 51st Engineering Brigade and the 525th Engineering Battalion which are capable of limited collapse-structure, evacuation and post cleaning operations; personnel from the Camp Aguinaldo Station Hospital, Surgeon General, Chief Nurse, 1301st Dental Dispensary, Veterinary Dispensary and the AFP Medical Center that will conduct casualty evacuation by ground; and the 11th Command Engineering Division which will inspect the building using their main lift equipment.

Friday's exercise was conducted with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake scenario in Metro Manila causing great damage on the GHQ Building. A sizeable number of personnel were presumed dead, gravely wounded and trapped at the different levels.

The GHQ & HSC and NCRCOM’s disaster response capabilities will be evaluated.

The drill aims to demonstrate the capabilities of local responders on the building evacuation, incident command system, triage of mass casualties, collapsed structure search and rescue, fire suppression and helicopter hoist/rescue.

The AFP, through disaster preparedness exercises, reiterated its commitment on helping the Filipinos during catastrophic occurrences. (PNA) scs/VR

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