MANILA, Philippines — Earthquake drills have been suspended since the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) occupied the government in the past months.
The National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) acknowledges the risk of COVID-19 transmission if people engage in drills.
“Delikado pa kasi iyan ngayong may pandemya pa, (That is risky given that we are in the midst of a pandemic),” explained the agency’s spokesperson Mark Timbal.
Timbal said they can still resume as soon as a vaccine for COVID-19 is discovered.
“I believe that we will resume the drills once both an effective treatment program as well as an immunization/vaccine is already available,” he added.
Despite the suspension of the drills, the agency said the public gets the information it needs through the local government units through constant information campaigns about disasters and diseases, specifically health protocols in evacuation centers, wearing face mask, using personal protective equipment and practicing social distancing.
The NDRRMC also conducts online training for that matter.
But for the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), it is still important to always prepare for potential disasters like earthquakes, typhoons and serious floodings even in the midst of a pandemic.
Science and Technology Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS OIC Renator Solidum assured that the agency is constantly conducting online seminars among LGUs and assessing the possible impact of disasters like earthquakes in their respective areas.
PHIVOLCS encourages every member of the family to discuss preparations amongst themselves as to what they will do in case of a serious earthquake like where they could possibly go to be safe.
Each family also needs to have an emergency kit in place complete with face masks, alcohol or sanitizer.
“In the past many large scale disasters minsan merong mga natataong mga pandemic. Mahirap iyon kung hindi handa sa pareho, [In the past, there were large scale disasters that happened along with a pandemic. It’s difficult to be in both situations unprepared,]” Solidum explained.
“We should prepared for both, not only for COVID-19 but also other possible large-scale hazards,” he added.
PHIVOLCS has created applications which can be checked for potential hazards in a specific area and these applications can be accessed through the Georisk Philippines website. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
The post PHIVOLCS reminds public to prepare for potential hazards amid COVID-19 pandemic appeared first on UNTV News.