A tsunami scenario will be included in this year’s fourth quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Exercise (NSED) of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
NDRRMC spokesman Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro IV said the fourth quarter NSED will be held on November 10 as part of the ongoing effort to strengthen earthquake preparedness.
The Paranaque Town Government will host the push-the-button ceremony and full-scale drill. Similar scenarios will be simultaneously organized by local DRRM councils across the country.
The highlight of the exercise is the simulation of an 8.3 magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami – a series of large tidal waves often caused by the movement of a large volume of water – in coastal communities and what to do to minimize losses. A tsunami can be caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions.
The inclusion of a tsunami scenario is seen as raising awareness for the celebration of World Tsunami Day on Saturday 5 November.
“Muli naming kayong inaanyayahan na makiisa sa ating huling NSED ngayong taon (We again invite the public to join our last NSED term this year),” Alejandro said.
The NDRRMC official noted that the drill will test the town of Paranaque’s tsunami contingency plan and demonstrate evacuation procedures in the local community.
He also said the exercise will test the combined efforts of aquatic search and rescue and air rescue, as well as the interoperability of communication systems of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine Air Force. (PAF).
According to the NDRRMC, there have been several instances where an earthquake has generated a tsunami in the Philippines, such as the 8.1 magnitude earthquake in the Moro Gulf in 1976 and the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mindoro in 1994.
The Moro Gulf earthquake occurred on August 17, 1976 near the islands of Mindanao and Sulu. It triggered a 13- to 16-foot-tall (four to five-meter) tsunami that hit 700 kilometers of coastline in the Moro Gulf and killed an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 people, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. (Phivolcs).
Meanwhile, the Mindoro earthquake occurred on November 15, 1994 due to the movement of a 35 km long landslide called Aglubang River Fault. The quake generated a tsunami that reached a vertical height of 28 feet (8.5 meters) in the Baco Islands, according to field investigation reports, and killed more than 70 people.
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