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

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page - By Dave Jones djones@cb­news.es

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

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