COTABATO CITY—To intensify preparedness on natural disasters, the Bangsamoro Government on Thursday, Aug.25, conducted a simultaneous earthquake-tsunami simulation exercises in Picong, Lanao del Sur and Datu Blah Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
The Bangsmoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi) spearheaded the activity, in partnership with Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Ministry of Health (MOH), local government units, and security sectors.
BARMM-READi Executive Assistant Norhashim Sinarimbo underscored the importance of disaster awareness and preparedness to the Bangsamoro communities, especially on dealing with “what to do during earthquake and tsunami”.
“Ang main reason [kung bakit natin ‘to ginagawa], una ay para matuto po ang community kung ano ang dapat talagang gagawin kung may earthquake at kasunod na tsunami. Pangalawa, gusto rin nating i-check kung maayos ba ang communication system natin; iyong coordination kung tayo ba ay mag-reresponde. Ang focus natin ay sa region papuntang munisipyo,” Sinarimbo said.
Picong LGU representative Mamintal Balindong Jr. said the simulation activity is important to their community since their town is prone to tsunami and quakes.
“Kung sakali mang dumating [huwag naman po sana], ay mali-lessen ang casualties, maiiwasan ang malaking damages at ang maisasalba ang buhay ng tao,” he said.
Balindong also mentioned that their Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) vehicles are ready to take evacuees to the evacuation center in case of emergency.
“We are grateful to have a drill to prepare for the LGU and the community. We are going to conduct this simulation to other barangays as well,” he added.
In recent months, several earthquakes were felt across Mindanao island, which reminded the people of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in Moro Gulf that took thousands of lives four decades ago.
In Maguindanao, Barangay Chairwoman Bai Myrna Sinsuat said, “walang pinipili biktima ang sakuna — bata, matanda, babae man o lalake, kaya mas kinakailangan pa ring alamin ang dapat gawin upang maligtas ang sarili at mga pamilya sa kapahamakang maaaring magdulot ng sakuna.”
The participating entities also include BARMM ministries, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), DR. Serapio Montañer Memorial Hospital, Bangsamoro Communication Network, and Non-Government Organizations. (Majid Nur/BIO)