NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Dec. 1 (PIA) -- A revisit to the contingency plan for evacuation during Mt. Kanla-on eruption Alert Level 3 was conducted through a simulation exercise (SIMEX), amid the threat of the coronavirus disease or COVID-19 pandemic.
A day prior to the SIMEX, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (RDRRMCs) of Regions VI and VII presented their contingency plans of both Provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental on Mt. Kanlaon eruption.
Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-6 regional director Jose Roberto Nunez, during the SIMEX, said he saw the eagerness of the responders even if in their respective areas, they are very occupied with COVID-19 response, but still, they participated.
"The (contingency) plan needs to be checked as to responses in this time of pandemic because we do not really know and we cannot predict really when Mt. Kanla-on will erupt. So, the preparedness measures need to be checked from time to time," Nunez said.
He reiterated the need for evacuation centers in the local government units.
"Evacuation centers should be conducive and safe. We have to check the center's location with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau for hazards and risks. We do not want to get out of one disaster and when we go to evacuation centers we face another disaster," Nunez added.
The SIMEX was participated in by responders from the identified affected local government units, the different departments of the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, including the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and national government agencies, namely Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police, among others.
The affected individuals, during the drill, were evacuated from the province-run Mambukal Resort in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia to the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
During the SIMEX, players also joined in the duck, cover, hold drill of the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) while evacuation process is ongoing at the Pannad Park and Stadium. *(LTP/EAD-PIA6 Negros Occidental)