Zambo LGU tests own disaster preparedness capabilities PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 July 2015 11:30

by Sheila covarrubias

Some 200 employees and officials of City Hall –both from the main and annex buildings on Thursday afternoon participated in a drill intended to prepare the local government unit in case an intensity 8 earthquake hits the city.

A one-minute blaring of the City Hall siren signalled the start of the earthquake drill at 4pm during which participating employees executed the drop, cover and hold response drills. The employees later evacuated to a safer area using a designated route.

The activity, said to be the first to be held in City Hall and spearheaded by the LGU through the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) also tested how fast responders can evacuate officials and personnel whose functions are very crucial in running the affairs of the government in case of an emergency situation.

The officials included Mayor Beng Climaco, City Treasurer Soledad Li, City Budget Officer Virginia Gara, City Accountant Sylvia Binarao, City Engineer Luis Despalo and City Legal Officer Jesus Carbon. They were swiftly evacuated to lot 60 in Cabatangan passing through the stretch of Gov. Lim to Nuñez extension- Gov. Camins- Sta. Maria- Gov. Ramos to Cabatangan.

Different scenarios were simulated such as building evacuation, subsequent fire, apprehension of intruders, first aid treatment, and search and rescue operations for missing and wounded employees among others.  CDRRMO head Dr. Elmeir Apolinario acted as the incident commander and was stationed at the command post set up at the Plaza Gen. Vicente Alvarez where all incident planning and tactical operations were directed.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)-Zamboanga head Engr. Allan Labayog after observing the 30-minute exercise said the activity passed his standards especially in the evacuation time. “In less than 15 minutes, the officials were evacuated to Cabatangan and there was synchronization of activities as each agency knew what to do,” he said adding that the result of the activity was beyond expectation.

The drill was participated by the concerned agencies to include the Zamboanga City Police Office, City Fire Department, Task Force Zamboanga, the SAR and Emergency Medical Team, Philippine Red Cross-Zamboanga Chapter and other response teams, building safety inspection team of the City Engineer’s Office, communication groups, the City Security Unit and the CDRRMO and numerous others.  Observers from the Office of Civil Defense evaluated the exercise.

City Hall, both the main and the annex buildings, houses the City Mayor’s Office, City Administrator’s Office, City Legal Office, City Treasurer’s Office, City Budget Office, City Accountant’s Office, City Assessor’s Office, City Engineer’s Office and City Planning Office. — Sheila Covarrubias