Quake preparedness test

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Monday, March 30, 2015


MORE people now have an idea of what to do and where to go when an earthquake strikes compared to two years ago.

When tremors were felt in Cebu yesterday morning, Monday, people in office buildings moved to the ground floor and outside while those inside their homes gathered loved ones in case they would have to rush to the doorway or out.

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake on Feb. 6, 2012 and the 7.2-magnitude temblor on Oct. 15, 2013 were provocations enough for Cebu residents to prepare for when the next one comes. It did yesterday when a magnitude 4 hit Cebu and the rest of the Visayas at 9:47 a.m. The quake was located eight kilometers south of Buenavista, Bohol, and has a depth of three kilometers.

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The earth shaking was not as intense as the past two incidents but Monday’s earthquake was a chance for people to test what they learned from preparations and drills they undertook.

It helped that national earthquake drills were held in schools around the country last week by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council. Students were taught to duck and cover and have an orderly exit. The exercise and procedures were still fresh in the minds of students and school administrators that they knew what to do when the quake hit Monday.

At the Provincial Capitol, Gov. Hilario Davide III took the precaution of sending employees home after lunch to check on their families and so inspectors could go through the entire building to look for possible damage. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered employees to move out of the building but called them back in after several minutes so operations could resume. He urged the public not to panic.

On social networks, users announced how they experienced the earthquake but right away shared assurances of no tsunami and no panic.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology used social media promptly to say there was no tsunami threat in the Philippines.

This was so unlike the past temblors when emergency measures were unclear and there was lack of correct information that reached the public.

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Spend the Holy Week online. If you can’t go to seven churches on Thursday or can’t wake up early on Easter Sunday, you can still join Holy Week activities by staying on the Sun.Star website at www.sunstar.com.ph.

An online Visita Iglesia or visit to seven churches on Maundy Thursday will be available for those who may not have access to churches. Overseas Filipinos and those who could not leave their homes can still do their church visits. Featured churches are the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church, Carmelite Monastery, Redemptorist Church, Archdiocesan Shrine of the Our Lady of Lourdes, and the San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church.

On Good Friday, the Siete Palabras or the reading of the Seven Last Words of Christ will be aired live from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral starting at 12 noon.
Easter mass will be aired on Sunday, 4 a.m., also from the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Visit www.sunstar.com.ph or go direct to http://multimedia.sunstar.com.ph/holy-week/ for details.

(ninicab@sunstar.com.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2015.

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