PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley Nov. 15 (PIA) - A total of 600 households participated in the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill in five sitios in Barangay Matiao at the quarter's pilot area of Davao Region at 9:00 am Thursday November 14.
Residents also reacted on the possibility of a tsunami, considering a magnitude 7 earthquake might occur at Sulawesi Island, located Southeast outside the Davao Gulf.
As the firetruck's siren sounded signifying the occurrence of actual ground shaking, pupils from six levels of the Barangay Matiao Elementary School observed the duck, cover and hold.
Immediately when the siren went off, they proceeded to the open field and squatted on the ground.
People near the shoreline were warned of the incoming tsunami through the sound of the beating of cooking pots prompting them to walk fast towards the evacuation center which was situated three kilometers away.
Joseph Randy Loy, provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer of Compostela Valley said Barangay Matiao is highly relevant for the exercise since it is situated near the shoreline.
He said the barangay has been a Gawad Kalasag Awardee and the exercise served as an avenue for them to showcase disaster resilience.
Loy expressed confidence that the residents in the area understand the environmental threats brought by disasters like earthquake and tsunami.
"We saw how they pursue to survive by bringing with them go bags containing survival materials, making sure that they would not rely so much on what is ought to be given to them since they were able to provide for themselves," he said.
Loy said it maybe the first tsunami drill for Barangay Matiao, but the information they learned is crucial.
He said residents were able to understand that it is not necessary to have a fault line near you for the ground to shake vigorously.
"Davao Oriental is close to Barangay Matiao. We need to capacitate the barangay residents considering that Davao Oriental can trigger a higher earthquake magnitude up to 8.3. In case of local tsunami, tides would go bigger in a span of two to five minutes, dependent on the magnitude of the quake," Loy said. (PIA XI-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)