(File photo)

MANILA – The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) has urged the public to participate in the 3rd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) set on Thursday, which will be held face-to-face for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.

"Ating isagagawa ang third quarter NSED para sa taong 2022. Inaanyayahan ko kayong lahat na makiisa sa pag-duck, cover at hold pag-tunog ng sirena sa ganap ng alas-9 ng umaga. Walang pinipiling oras ang banta ng lindol kaya't tayong lahat ay laging handa para dito (We will be conducting the third quarter NSED [on September 8] for this year. I am inviting you all to take part in the duck, cover and hold drills once the sirens sound exactly at 9 a.m. Earthquakes can strike anytime so it will be better for us to be prepared)," OCD administrator Undersecretary Raymundo Ferrer said in a video message posted at the Civil Defense Facebook page Tuesday night.

Ferrer also urged the public to continue taking part in programs and activities that promote disaster and calamity preparedness and response.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) earlier said this year's third quarter NSED will be held at the Ayala Property Management Corp. headquarters in Makati City.

This will be live-streamed via the Civil Defense PH and NDRRMC Facebook pages.

Stakeholders are encouraged to launch drills simultaneously in support of the NSED while strictly observing minimum public health standards.

The NDRRMC also called on academic institutions, businesses, and private and government offices to ensure compliance with minimum public health standards while doing evacuation drills.

It, however, clarified that offices may opt not to do evacuation drills if the circumstances do not permit it.

“While we will start holding a face-to-face NSED in Makati and we encourage the conduct of an evacuation drill after the usual 'Duck, Cover and Hold', we clarify that the conduct of an evacuation drill is not mandatory. This is up to the discretion of institutions and offices that will assess the situation as to whether it is possible to hold it. If not, just like what they did in the past NSEDs amid the pandemic, they can watch the live stream of the ceremonial pressing of the button and just do the 'Duck, Cover, and Hold' drill," it said. (PNA)