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Churches join Metro Manila-wide ’shake drill’

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MANILA, July 30, 2015— Many Catholic churches on Thursday joined the Metro Manila-wide earthquake drill initiated by the government.

Among these churches were the Quiapo Church and Baclaran Church which attract thousands of devotees everyday.

At 10:30 a.m., church bells started ringing and a warning sound was broadcast over the radio, signaling the start of the “shake drill”.
In Quiapo church, churchgoers inside the basilica were evacuated to the nearby open grounds of Plaza Miranda.

Disaster response

Several hypothetical scenarios were also carried out such as having a number of injured people needing immediate medical treatment.

The church also activated its Disaster Management Ministry, a body created two years ago to lead in rescue operations during disasters.

The group has also been conducting disaster response awareness seminars for parishioners.

Quiapo Church parochial vicar Fr. Ric Valencia said the drill turned out fine although some things still need improvement.

Whistles

“Many things are still needed to be prioritized,” said Valencia. “The use of whistles was overlooked, yet it is expected in times of panic.”

The ministry, he added, is composed of parish staffers and volunteers who underwent seminars and trainings on disaster preparedness and emergency response.

Several schools, malls, and establishments also took part in the drill initiated by the Metro Manila Development Authority amid the possibility of a strong quake that could be brought about by movements in the West Valley Fault. (Luke Godoy/CBCPNews) 


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