Philippines Earthquake
Government employees cover their heads with pillows as they participate in an earthquake drill at the city hall of Pasay city, metro Manila July 29, 2015.Reuters

Metro Manila, the national capital region of Philippines, looked like an earthquake-hit zone on Thursday, even though no quake had really struck the region. 

As fears of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake striking Philippines have gripped locals following expert predictions, authorities conducted the country's biggest ever drill in Metro Manila on Thursday to prepare for such a disaster.

Millions of people are said to have joined the 'MM Shake Drill' on Thursday to prepare for the 'Big One', in which they were put through a simulated earthquake scenario that included falling make-shift houses, alarm bells and sirens going off, and even simulated dead bodies.

An emergency alarm was aired over radio to signal the start of the drill at about 10.30 am local time, according to the Manilla Bulettin.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology had predicted that the West Valley Fault could shift at any time in the coming years, jeopardising the lives of 12 million people who live in Metro Manila, which the fault cuts across. 

Renato Solidum, who heads the institute, had said that according to seismic history, the fault moves every 400 years, and that the last such occurrence was 357 years ago. 

According to the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), as many as 33,500 people are likely to be killed if the 7.2 magnitude quake hits the country, while millions will be displaced. 

Following the predictions, locals reportedly have been living in fear of a looming quake that could end their lives in seconds. 

"I'm terrified just thinking about it. Nobody knows when the quake will hit, so I just pray that God will keep us safe," local Esmeralda Ronquillo told Bloomberg

One million people have reportedly signed up as volunteers to aid authorities if an earthquake does strike Philippines. 

Philippines is not new to earthquakes, as it sits in the Pacific Ring of Fire that sees maximum quakes in the world. 

Last year, a 7.2 magnitude quake killed 200 people in central Philippines.