Sizing up DLSU’s recent participation in the MM Shake Drill

Last June 23, DLSU participated in the Metro Manila Shake Drill, which lasted for around 20 minutes before classes and normal work resumed. Occupants of the Br. John Hall took the least amount of time to evacuate at 55 seconds, while occupants at the Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall required the most at approximately 17 minutes.

The drill, the second of its kind to happen in two years, simulates an estimated 7.2-magnitude earthquake hitting Metro Manila. As early as 2004, there have been studies that Metro Manila is long overdue for another earthquake, and as early as 2013, there have been speculations that “The Big One” will happen in this lifetime. As no one can accurately predict when an earthquake is set to occur, everyone is being reminded to prepare for The Big One, which can result to approximately 34,000 deaths and 114,000 injuries.

Shake Drill 1 - Marc Englis []

An accomplishment

University President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC has previously described the drill to be an accomplishment since the students cooperated and participated accordingly. Unlike the first MM Shake Drill, which was held last year during the term break, when considerably less people were on campus, this year’s drill achieved a 100 percent evacuation rate.

University Safety Office Director and Security Office OIC Dr. Jocelyn Dayanan shares that the recently held drill was well received compared to previous drills, for which the teams needed more convincing to evacuate people from the buildings. In the drill, Dr. Dayanan describes, people had been more willing to evacuate.

Shake Drill 2 - Marc Englis []

Dr. Dayanan explains that familiarity of the evacuation sites is one of the priorities of the drill, since different calamities call for different evacuation places. She illustrates that for an earthquake, people must go downstairs. On the other hand, in the event a storm surge, people would have to go upstairs. In cases where people are using elevators when an earthquake or a fire happens, an automatic mechanism lowers the elevator to the ground floor, and any trapped victims are attended to by first responders.

The drill is only one of many that the University conducts every year. Vice Chancellor for Administration Edwin Santiago states that among the different drills DLSU conducts year-long are the medical emergency response drill to test how fast doctors can respond to a medical emergency, the ambulance drill to test how long the ambulance can respond when called for, and the elevator response drill to test how fast responders can rescue people trapped in elevators.

Shake Drill 3 - Marc Englis []

Room for improvement

Despite the coordination between security personnel and among students, faculty, and staff in the drill and the fact that the University has enough protocols on the matter, according to Dr. Dayanan, there needs to be an improvement in the mindset of “potential victims” of the calamity. She notes that a lot of people failed to follow the “duck, cover, hold” standard procedure for earthquake drills. Santiago echoes this sentiment, saying, “A little seriousness can help.” Both Dr. Dayanan and Santiago note that students tend to show a lack of urgency since they reason that the drill is only a simulation and not the real thing yet.

Dr. Dayanan clarifies that to address this loophole, the Security Office is encouraging the community to act accordingly during evacuation drills since their survival is at stake. She clarifies that no enforcement is needed, only encouragement on the part of the office, since some students failed to take the drill seriously.

Moreover, Dr. Dayanan also estimates that around 10 percent of DLSU security personnel need to finish updated first aid training. The University aims for all security personnel to be among the first responders to administer first aid to victims. According to Dr. Dayanan, training for first aid must be updated every two years.


with reports from Yasmin Cariño, Mikhaela Felix, Kheem Gines & Alex Kaluag

Josemaria Rustia

By Josemaria Rustia

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