By VicenteVillavert The government must ensure that allpublic structures, especially bridges, school buildings and hospitals, areearthquake-proof through the conduct of a nationwide structural evaluation andby retrofitting these structures to allow them to withstand destructive naturaloccurrences such as earthquakes,” she added. “Earthquakes turn into major disastersdue to unsafe and poorly built structures, inappropriate site location ofinfrastructure projects, inadequate design and materials specification, andshortcuts in construction,” Legarda said. She added that other priority steps inearthquake preparedness include the regular conduct of safety drills;establishment of an early warning system for earthquake and tsunami;determining open spaces for safe refuge; and ensuring that back-up systems ofvital utilities are in place for speedy recovery and rehabilitation efforts,and a ready evacuation plan in every barangay in the country. “The additional expense required formaking structures safe from earthquakes is essentially a good investmentespecially if it will save thousands of precious lives,” she said. Broderick Train, an official of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in Antique, urges government personnel, employees and the public to participate in the National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill at the Provincial Capitol in San Jose de Buenavista town tomorrow. VWV/PIA ANTIQUE “We cannot predict when an earthquakewill occur. Therefore, we must always remain vigilant for more aftershocks andother effects of the temblor,” said Legarda.(With PIA/PN) “As part of the learning experience,we will wait for the alarm of the siren as our signal considering that wereally do not know when and where the earthquake will occur. This way, we willexperience how to respond to the impact of the earthquake,” PDRRMO officialBroderick Train on Monday said, adding that the drill is significant to raiseawareness to the people as envisioned by the NSED. Lone District Rep. and Deputy Housespeaker Loren Legarda, meanwhile, urged the local government units to take theinitiative in strengthening earthquake preparedness measures. SAN JOSE, Antique – An official of theProvincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) here urgedgovernment personnel, employees and the public to participate in the NationalSimultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) tomorrow at the Provincial Capitol.