Catholic schools, parishes join quake drill

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Churchgoers cover their heads to simulate a powerful earthquake during a drill at the Baclaran Church, June 22, 2016. (Raymond Sebastian/CBCPNews)

MANILA, June 22, 2016– Various Catholic schools and parishes joined the Metro Manila earthquake drill Wednesday to make sure students and churchgoers have the knowledge how to handle the situation.

At the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, thousands of faithful rushed out of the church as the shake drill shook churches, campuses and some workplaces.

Churchgoers did the “duck, cover, and hold” technique when the carillon bell tolled at exactly 9am as part of the drill to practice what to do when the “Big One” hits the metropolis.

The entire staff and employees of the shrine also gathered outside the church to simulate the aftermath of the catastrophe including the outbreak of fire, stampedes, freak accidents, and similar emergency situations.

It was a scene out of a post-apocalyptic movie complete with fake blood, maimed bodies, fainting and unconscious women, and panicking and injured devotees on stretchers and wheelchairs.

Ambulances, fire trucks, and the police from the city government of Parañaque were also called in to make the drill as realistic as possible.

Some helicopters were also seen hovering above the Baclaran-Coastal Road-Roxas Boulevard area.

Students of Nazarene Catholic School in Quiapo, Manila evacuate their school building during an earthquake drill on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Daday Juanite)

In Quiapo, Manila, teachers and students of the Nazarene Catholic School joined the drill that taught them how to behave in an earthquake situation in school.

The state-run Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has repeatedly warned of a massive earthquake that can hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

It said the magnitude 7.2 earthquake caused by a movement of the West Valley Fault, which spans from Bulacan running to Rizal, Metro Manila, and on to Cavite and Laguna provinces, may strike any time.

The Archdiocese of Manila has earlier encouraged its schools and parishes to participate in the second metro-wide shake drill spearheaded by Metro Manila Development Authority.

The archdiocese also directed parishes, schools and offices to follow the necessary guidelines involved in the actual drill. (Raymond Sebastian/CBCPNews)

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