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AFP Conducts Camp-Wide Earthquake Drill

CAMP GENERAL EMILIO AGUINALDO, Quezon City – Following the recent earthquake that hit the central part of the country, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will conduct a camp-wide earthquake drill within the General Headquarters tomorrow to test anew its preparedness in responding to an earthquake disaster.

The earthquake drill scenario envisions a 7.2 magnitude earthquake striking Metro Manila causing widespread devastation in the national Capital Region and greatly damaging Camp Aguinaldo. The activity will be composed of the static display of Disaster Response Operations (DRO) capability including the equipment of the Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Air Force (PAF), Philippine Navy (PN), National Development Support Command (NADESCOM) and AFP Reserve Command; and the actual conduct of the earthquake drill.

During the drill, the GHQ and Headquarters Support Command to be augmented by Search and Rescue (SAR) teams from the PA, NADESCOM and 505th PAF Search and Rescue Group will conduct a simulated search and rescue activity.

The AFP Command Center will lead the simulated establishing of command-and-control over subordinate units by setting up an emergency command post (ECP). The National Capital Region Command (NCRCOM) will also establish an ECP to simulate the monitoring of DRO in the NCR. The Bureau of Fire Protection will perform Hazardous Material Handling drill with other government agencies also performing DRO capability demonstration. The Department of National Defense Office of the Civil Defense will be providing the evaluators during the actual drill.

The vulnerability of the Philippines to earthquakes being geographically situated in the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire” was again brought to fore with the 5.6 magnitude earthquake that hit the Samar Islands last February 4 followed by a more powerful 6.9 tremor in Tayasan, Negros Oriental, which resulted to an estimated 41 casualties, 54 injured and 67 missing persons with millions worth of damaged properties.  Although the conduct of earthquake drills is a constant practice in AFP camps, these series of events prompted the AFP to further test its capability to respond to earthquake disasters.

“Our natural world has proven to be very erratic these past few years which is why it is only fitting for us to strengthen our forces and capabilities in responding to natural disasters and calamities, which might strike our country,” AFP Chief of Staff, LtGen Jessie D. Dellosa said.

“Our objective is to increase our troops’ preparedness, evaluate our response capabilities and improve coordination among the tasked units during an earthquake disaster and other natural calamities,” Dellosa added.

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Created on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:39
Published on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:39
Written by PAO, AFP
Armed Forces of the Philippines
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