Big hospital used in Manila quake drill

Different scenarios such as evacuation, search and rescue, medical response, fire suppression, and traffic management were conducted during the drill.

September 9, 2022

A unique earthquake drill was done in Manila using various scenarios involving a hospital as big as the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center.

The simulation earthquake drill was made even more challenging by the fact that the said hospital, which has a 600-bed capacity, is located along Blumentritt, a very busy road.

The drill was made a success by around 400 participants that included representatives from the security and safety marshalls from CGHMC which is owned and operated by the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc., the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office led by its director Arnel Angeles, the Philippine National Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau headed by Zenaida Viaje.

Angeles said the simulation exercise conducted at the hospital was based on a scenario where a 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurred at the west valley fault somewhere in Quezon City, which is about 10 kilometers away from the said hospital. A swift evacuation of the patients from the said hospital was carried out and these included babies and patients on wheelchairs and stretchers.

He added that the hospital personnel quickly brought out tents and occupied half of Blumentritt Road fronting the hospital, to serve as evacuation area of CGH employes and patients.

Angeles said the situation was more challenging because traffic is always heavy on the narrow Blumentritt street.

MTPB enforcers were also there to help maintain traffic and the responses were proven effective for the simulation of various scenarios like evacuation, search and rescue, medical response, fire suppression and traffic management.

The drill is part of the 3rd quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill aimed at creating awareness and preparedness of the employees and the CGH itself during and after an earthquake, along with the community and emergency or disaster-response forces in effectively responding to calamities and disasters

Makati, too

Makati, meanwhile, staged its own drill at the Legazpi Active Park in partnership with the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Office of Civil Defense, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Science and Technology, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Ayala Property Management Corporation, and Makati Central Estate Association.

Different scenarios such as evacuation, search and rescue, medical response, fire suppression, and traffic management were conducted during the drill.

In her opening remarks read by Makati DRRM Officer Richard Rodriguez, Makati Mayor Abby Binay said, “We cannot prevent disasters from happening, but we can minimize and reduce its effects. To build a culture of resilience, we need the application of a whole of society approach in planning and preparing for emergency and disaster operations.”

She said the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill is an opportune time to test the efficiency and usefulness of the preparedness, response, and recovery plans of the local government units, offices and schools.

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