Heads up, people, especially to those who have their offices in Metro Manila. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be holding its fourth Metro Manila Shake Drill this month but with a catch – it’s going to be unannounced.
You're familiar with the 'Big One' right? The fearsome high-magnitude and high-intensity earthquake (7.2 magnitude to be exact) that could hit us anytime. We mentioned this not to instill fear but to present a reality that should be taken with great attention. In short, we need to be ready.
Now, observing order when that day comes is easier said than done, as human instinct works relative to the situation given to us. That is why the government, through MMDA, is conducting shake drills, for us to know how to properly execute the right actions.
As for saying 'anytime,' we could experience the Big One unprepared as no one knows when it's going to hit. So, this month's shake drill is structured as close as to what will happen in real life, where everyone's busy and businesses are running.
“No one can predict when an earthquake will happen. We must be prepared at all times so we want the shake drill announced unannounced. We will not be announcing the exact date of the shake drill. Public will only be informed on the day of the drill.”
Take note, the unannounced drill will run for three days and will be broadcasted on the day itself via SMS messages or through AM/FM frequencies, with alerts being distributed at exactly 3 p.m. Companies, churches, schools, and institutions are instructed to sound their emergency horns and bells as well.
As for the procedure, all areas in the western quadrant, namely Navotas, Malabon, and Manila, will use the Intramuros Golf Course as their evacuation area.
The northern quadrant, composed of Quezon City, Caloocan, Valenzuela, and San Juan, will be using the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Golf Course and Quezon Memorial Circle as evacuation camps.
Marikina and Pasig, which make up the eastern quadrant, will utilize the LRT 2 Santolan Depot.
Evacuation center for Pasay, Makati, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Pateros, and Taguig, which are all in the southern quadrant, is the Villamor Golf Course.
We know exactly what you're thinking – traffic jam? As a matter of fact, make it 'unannounced traffic jam' because it's more like it. So, for the whole month of July, try your best to leave early and plan your trips ahead, as there would be no advisories beforehand.
Photo courtesy of Philippine Heart Center