Preparing for the big one
A total of 775 people will be taking part in the earthquake training exercise in Torrevieja on Wednesday. The disaster scenario is being organised by the emergency services
A TOTAL of 775 people will be taking part in the special earthquake training exercise in Torrevieja on Wednesday (November 14).
The simulation of a disaster scenario is being organised by the regional government’s emergency services department.
Mayor José Manuel Dolón accompanied Valencia’s director general for emergencies, José María Ángel at the Virgen del Carmen cultural centre on Tuesday to give details of the exercise which will bring parts of Torrevieja to a standstill.
Sr Dolón said they will be practising their response to a ‘large scale’ tremor.
“If something like this should happen, then this exercise will mean that we are ready for it,” he said.
“The fact that we live in an area of active seismic activity should not have to be a worry for people, it just means that we have to be well prepared.”
He noted that 25 different services will be involved in the exercise including the army’s UME emergency unit, the Red Cross, representatives of several different regional departments, as well as police, Guardia Civil and the fire service. These forces and services will put into action their protocol to help people whose houses have been brought down by a tremor and to rescue people who are trapped in affected buildings.
According to Sr Ángel, they are practising for an earthquake which is powerful enough to damage all the utilities, cutting off the power supply and services such as telephone and internet.
“The public should know how to act in such an emergency,” he added.
He explained that 170 volunteers have been drafted in to act as people affected by the tremor, who will be treated in a make-shift hospital which will be set up in an as-yet unpublicised area of the town. Other emergency services staff will practise rescuing people buried in the earthquake at a special camp set up in Algemesí in Valencia province.
Sr Ángel said all Torrevieja’s schools will be involved, with more than 10,000 pupils and 800 teachers going through an exercise to respond to the emergency situation.
Mayor Dolón with José María Ángel at the Virgen del Carmen cultural centre