In the wake of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on 06 February, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is on high alert for a similar event of the same magnitude. The Philippines ranks first in disaster risk, according to The World Risk Index 2022; it is vulnerable not just to earthquakes but also to volcanic eruptions, storm surge, typhoons, floods, and drought.
“As auxiliary to the government, the PRC has a Mass Casualty Incident, or MCI, protocol in place. We have trained emergency medical services and psychological first aid providers across the country, and they are ready to respond to people affected by an MCI,” explained Gordon.
He added that PRC responded to the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol province in 2013 and to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Abra province in 2022, the two most destructive earthquakes in the country in the 21st century.
As part of its preparation for a huge disaster, PRC is revisiting the organization’s preparedness protocol for big disasters based on data on predicted impacts to life and property of a high-magnitude earthquake in Metro Manila. The PRC is also preparing for the logistical requirements to immediately deploy rescue workers and humanitarian aid to affected areas when needed.
Gordon underscored that the country must be prepared not just for a high-magnitude earthquake but also for its secondary effects, such as landslides, tsunami, and leaks in pipes carrying natural and other gases.