DAVAO City, Sept. 14, 2015—In order to encourage disaster preparedness among Mass-goers, an earthquake drill was held at the St. Francis of Assisi Quasi-Parish in La Verna Subdivision here, the first of its kind.
“So far the people are participative and cooperative in the conduct of earthquake drill. They were able to get out of the church as quickly as possible,” said Renante Luna, founder of the Mindanao Emergency Response Team (MERT) who handled and evaluated the said drill.
After the final blessing, Mass-goers were asked to listen to some input from resource persons, and after the sounding of the bell, they were told to duck, cover their heads, and seek protection under the pews.
Preparedness is key
Even the parish priest, Fr. Orlando Angelia, sought safety under the altar when the drill was conducted. The Mass-goers immediately left the church and found open space in the streets to avoid falling posts and falling debris.
“We really have to teach the people what to do should disasters like earthquakes strike. If they did not have this kind of exercise, all of them would rush to go out and untoward incidents like stampedes and injuries would happen,” Luna said.
“I would rate their participation and cooperation very good,” he added, referring to the parishioners who joined the said drill.
Fire drill next
“’We are looking forward to have a safe evacuation area here in the parish. Our parish is located in a flood prone area and it was reported that a new fault line was found in Davao City, so threats are always here,” Bernaldez said.
He stressed he wants parishioners prepared in times of disasters that is why this kind of drill was organized, adding that they will be doing a fire drill soon.
Angelia lauded the parishioners’ participation in the drill, saying it is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard.
The Parish Social Action Ministry (PSAM) headed by PSAM Coordinator Jun Bernaldez organized the said drill together with MERT. (John Frances C. Fuentes / CBCP News)