(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Saturday, 22 June 2024) Southwest Monsoon affecting the western sections of Southern Luzon and Visayas. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from Southeast to South will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Monday, March 13, 2023

Caraga RDRRMC holds face-to-face 1st Quarter NSED 

BUTUAN CITY -- After a three-year postponement of the face-to-face conduct of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED), the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) held the 1st Quarter NSED at the Butuan City School of Arts and Trade (BCSAT) on Thursday, March 9, that served as the NSED regional ceremonial site in Caraga. 

Students in all grade levels performed the "duck, cover, and hold" assisted by the teaching and non-teaching personnel of the school. Teachers who are registered nurses and those trained in emergency response served as the stand-by medical team for the drill while students who are part of the Boy Scout of the Philippines (BSP) and Rover Scouting also took part as emergency responders. 

As emphasized by Lorene S. Catedral, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Division chief of the RDRRMC's executive arm Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Caraga, "the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill is not just a simulation but an opportunity to come together as a community and practice our response to an earthquake. By doing so, we can identify the areas we need to improve, and ensure that we are ready to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a real earthquake." 

In their individual messages, the vice-chairpersons of the Council's four thematic pillars -- Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Disaster Response and Early Recovery, and Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery -- underscored the importance of the NSED as the government's effort to emphasize the role of preparation and resilience during disasters and its increasing relevance today with the series of earthquakes experienced in different parts of Mindanao, the most recent being the 6.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Davao de Oro and caused unforeseeable damage.

On behalf of the Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga, Dr. Ana P. Lasco, head of the School Governance and Operations Division (SGOD), conveyed the gratitude of the Department for including the disaster risk reduction and management in the government's mid-term agenda, which enabled the provision of capacity-building mechanisms for government offices, including schools, in disaster preparedness. 

"Calamities like earthquake, fire, floods, typhoons -- these are events that pose great damage or distress to our lives, our properties. These calamities will occur regardless of time and place," Lasco quipped.

"And so we have the Office of Civil Defense that take charge in training people... to prepare the different offices and the personnel in case calamities will happen during office hours and wherever we are," she added.

BCSAT garnered a total of 88.51 points equivalent to a 'very satisfactory' adjectival rating, to which school principal Reylan Alas was "very happy" about.

"For the past days, I with my team, we were stressed and pressured because we are the first school to be observed by the Regional DRRMC [for the NSED]. So the stress was there, the pressure was there but I think we were able to nail it," said Alas. 

With the school only making use of a privately owned vacant lot behind a nearby office, the drill evaluators also recommended the construction of a proper evacuation area in the school, which the school official said they will prioritize. 

"There are only talks going on with the team. We are going to ask permission from the owner... in case of emergency or disaster, we could use the area. [That and] a MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) or MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) would be our plan," Alas elaborated. 

The quarterly NSED is the government's effort to promote earthquake preparedness and disaster resiliency. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)