P.I. to stage earthquake safety drills

May 30, 2006 at 1:35 PM
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MANILA, Philippines, May 30 (UPI) -- The Philippines will conduct earthquake preparedness drills nationwide following the temblor that rocked Indonesia, killing more than 5,000 people.

The Philippines is in an earthquake zone; a quake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale was felt Sunday in the north of the country.

No damage or injuries were reported, however.

"Our preparedness at all times, the continuous updating of our disaster monitoring and mitigation plans, and the solidarity and cooperation of all sectors are important to minimize loss of lives and property" in case of earthquakes or other natural disasters, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said.

"Let every vulnerable community be prepared to meet any contingencies."

The Manila Times said Tuesday the National Disaster Coordinating Council and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology were ordered to conduct a massive public awareness campaign; earthquake drills are to be held in schools, business districts and other public places.

Metro Manila was last rocked by an earthquake in March. It measured 5.5 on the Richter scale.

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