Over 4,000 high school students of Bataan National High School (BNHS) ran for safety during the biggest earthquake drill conducted in a secondary school in the province.

Participating government agencies including the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and Philippine National Police led the evaluation of the drill which simulated a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in the province’s biggest secondary school.

The students all the way from their classrooms located in various buildings took 1.5 minutes evacuating to the central ground while on duck, cover and hold position.

City Public Safety Office (CPSO) supervisor Gerry Banzon noted that he found empty fire extinguisher boxes while the computer laboratory did not have its own fire extinguisher given that electronic equipment burn fast. Absence of medical kits also was also noticed.

“You have big buildings and a big population, you need crowd control to direct the students during a real earthquake,” said Banzon to the BNHS management.

The establishment of a school disaster management committee is also needed so there will be a specified group who will focus on executing preventive measures, suggested Teresita Señora, action officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

This group may also work together with a fire brigade team composed of students who will respond immediately in case of fire, said BFP fire officer Carlos Bugay who offered to teach the students in a seminar.

BNHS principal Dr. Simeona Emata assured that the suggestions will be deliberated in their faculty meeting most especially the procurement of fire extinguishers and the provision of medical kits in every building.

“I assure you of the intense teaching that we will do to teach the students of the preventive measures. We will see to it to have a drill like this every quarter. If the students and teachers are not prepared, what will just happen to us?” said Emata.

The CPSO also conducted an earthquake drill in Tomas Del Rosario College in Balanga City where 1,500 high school and elementary students participated in the simulation of a magnitude 5 tremor

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