The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communication (CMC) conducted another earthquake drill on Thursday, February 15 as part of the College’s proactive measures to bolster disaster preparedness within its premises.

This drill was unannounced and placed particular emphasis on the crucial step of awaiting the sound of the bell before proceeding to evacuation areas.

“Ang pinakagusto naming mensahe talaga sa event na ito ay hanggang walang bell, walang kikilos. Kasi dati, ‘pag [may drill] nagbe-bell na agad. So, parang hindi alam tulóy ng mga tao kung kikilos na ba sila o hindi,” UP CMC Dean Fernando Paragas told DZUP.

(Our primary message for this event is that until the bell rings, no one should move. In the past, when earthquake drills occurred, the bell would ring immediately. So, people were unsure whether to take action or not.)

“‘Pag nangyari na ‘yung lindol, wala namang magbe-bell agad kasi ‘di pa makakatayô ‘yung mga staff na naka-duty do’n sa bell. So, hanggang ‘di pa nagbe-bell, walang dapat kikilos muna. So ‘yun ‘yung primary lesson dito,” Fernando added.

(The reality is that during an earthquake, the staff responsible for ringing the bell may not be able to do so right away. Therefore, until the bell rings, no one should move. That’s the primary lesson here.)

This time, participants congregated in designated evacuation areas as soon as the bell rang.

CMC staff and emergency response personnel, led by UP CMC University Researcher Alex Tamayo, conducted a brief lecture and demonstration on practiced evacuation techniques, including the duck, cover, and hold procedure.

For Leslie Jeanne Trinchera, a first-year Bachelor of Arts Communication Research student, the earthquake drill served as a reminder of the importance of swift and decisive action during seismic emergencies.

“I think this drill is important so that we can be more aware of what we should do during an earthquake,” Trinchera told DZUP.

“Especially since, most of the time, nagiging busy po sa acads so, minsan nawawala rin po ‘yung memory kung alin po ‘yung dapat gawin kapag nagkaroon ng lindol,” she said.

(Especially since, most of the time, we are preoccupied with academic tasks, so sometimes we forget what to do when an earthquake strikes.)

Graduating student Ae-J Mariano from the UP Department of Broadcast Communication said he was glad that the College conducted the unannounced drill.

“I feel secured that the College is taking steps. My biggest takeaway is you won’t know when it will happen. We should take drills seriously,” Mariano told DZUP.

CMC distributed whistles to its freshmen. Tamayo encouraged students to always have whistles handy, which could be helpful in times of emergencies.

Paragas told DZUP that a fire drill will be scheduled for March, which is Fire Prevention Month.

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