Monday, August 3, 2015

What Makes Earthquake Drill, Funny?

A minute siren blast overcame the silence of the classes of Balabag Elementary School to catch the more than three hundred school pupils unaware the incoming earthquake an hour before their recess period started. A scenario in a recent earthquake drill conducted in the said school in the Division of La Carlota.

Kids covering their heads proceeding to open space
Kids covering their heads proceeding to open space
When I was transferred to this last year as their new school principal, these pupils were already informed through an orientation on what to do in time of natural disaster like the earthquake in which I conducted with the assistance of the teachers.

They're too serious to know the basic things to do to stay safe when an earthquake strikes. They're apt to go under their table, their desk, while covering their heads. They remained in silence. They're quickly to follow the instructions of their respective teachers.

They knew where to proceed after the quake as played when the long blast sound stops. Though, there were some who were afraid, anxious of this so called drill.

Actual scene after an earthquake
Actual scene after an earthquake
Actual Earthquake

I recall it was sometime in February of 2012 when The building is shaking! A water inside the glass is making a wave! I couldn't stand straight! I feel dizzy! The coconut trees are terribly shaking outside!

These were the traumatic reactions of the pupils and teachers of my previous school, Cubay Elementary School when intensity 6.8 earthquake hit La Carlota at 11:49 a.m. before noon on that day.

When I was inside of my office, I noticed that the couch while I was sitting was moving to and fro. I overheard from the outside the howls and shouts of the pupils. I rushed outside to check and realizing later that there was really an earthquake.

I saw a score of pupils covering their heads. They were led by their teachers to gather in an open space to settle down and wait for the quake to stop and waiting for their parents to fetch them. Some proceeded directly to the nearby sugarcane field just across the gate of the school.

Our pupils at that time were already aware on what to do. In a minute or two, the quake stopped. Some of our pupils were traumatized.

We have concluded that an earthquake drill is a must for every school, not only in my previous school that we used to conduct it annually, but to other schools too.

Funny Earthquake Drill 

It was the day that we're going to have our earthquake drill in my new school for the second time. As I mentioned earlier, the pupils were already used to what to do.

Sir Raffy P. Medes, our school DRRM coordinator was incharged of the drill with Sir Erwin Navio assisting him. Sir Medes prepared everything including our public address system for the follow up lecture after the drill. An idea cropped up. Instead of using an improvised school bell for the warning of the incoming earthquake, a siren sound from the cellphone was to be used to be amplified by a public address system. Therefore, all system went.

"Weeee, weeee, weeee, weeee", a deafening one-minute siren sound caught everyone's ear, who was inside the school including the parents and guardians of the children.

I roamed around to document the actual happening. I was amazed. I found it strange especially the grade two pupils. I was expecting that they would rush under their desks while covering their heads, instead I saw them in a bunch, over crowding a jalousie window, craning their heads to search from their school windows where the sound was.

I shouted, "Earthquake drill is no fun. It is not funny." Of course, what can you expect from those curious, innocent kids anyway. They've the adults to supervise them, especially their teachers who were surprised for such reaction of themselves to hear for the first that deafening blast of siren.

1 comment:

  1. Yes sir, the earthquake drill is no fun. I remembered the last Metro Manila Earthquake Drill last July 30. I wasn't able to attend because I was admitted in the hospital, but I have watched the TV for some updates. I have seen some students found it funny and some of them are laughing. I don't understand why they are laughing, but they said they didn't take the drill seriously. Tsk tsk, some students should appreciate the efforts of the facilitator as it will useful for the actual situation. As what they said, knowledge is power.


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