Ateneans who evacuated in Roxas Avenue seek for higher ground. The evacuation area of the Ateneo de Davao Jacinto campus is located at RMC gym near Madapo Hills Photo by Eanna Fernandez.

By Patricia Suarez

The Ateneo de Davao University and all other institutions and business establishments in the city participated in the first Davao City Shake out Drill last 14 July 2017.  

The drill started exactly 9:00 AM.  The students flooded out of the building in a swift and orderly fashion as they evacuated to their designated areas in Roxas Avenue, Claveria, and Jacinto streets.

“We’re getting better. We were able to evacuate within five to eight minutes, the whole campus,” Jeremy “Bong” Eliab, Ateneo de Davao Executive Vice President said.

He added that Ateneo College and Senior High School Units were able to evacuate within 12 minutes in the last year’s drill.

“This year, we only have the college students. We were expecting yesterday that we will be evacuating around 8500 students and that is really a challenge for us. But right now, the emergency team of the University is improving and we are making necessary drills in order to face the challenges,” he stated.

This drill was a request from the city government. It is a citywide earthquake and tsunami drill that aims to test the capacity of the city to respond in case of an emergency situation of 8.5 magnitude earthquake.

“We are are participating together with them so we are in constant contact. There were two ambulances that passed by the University after. They were supposed to coordinate with us if we have injuries and then they will bring the injured to the medical facility which is located at Crocodile Park,” Eliab said.

 

Ateneo community prepares to go to the evacuation site after the Tsunami Alert.

In the drill, several scenarios were simulated simultaneously. There was a fire on the roof deck of Finster Hall, so the firefighting team had to respond. Hence, the students staying outside of the university longer because they were trying to put out the fire.

There were also four people injured in different areas of the building as injuries are expected during an 8.5 magnitude earthquake. The first aid medical team had to pull out and rescue people which also took them a significant amount of time.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) evaluated the drill. “By our standards, this is okay already. We passed [the drill],” Eliab said.

Suppose there were a tsunami, the evacuation area of the Jacinto campus is located at RMC gym near Madapo Hills. While the evacuation area for the Ateneo Matina campus is located at GSIS Matina. All injured people will have to be brought to Crocodile Park because the city will set up a large medical facility and command center post in that area.

For more photos during the Citywide Shake out drill last 14 July 2017, visit the Ateneo de Davao University Gallery.