Simulation exercise in case of strong earthquake conducted in Bucharest, Iasi. Code red intervention activated


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The Romanian Interior Minister on Tuesday initiated a simulation exercise meant to warn the emergency situation authorities in Bucharest and Iasi county in case of a major earthquake, over 7-magnitude. More precisely, a code red for intervention is simulated.

Firefighters countrywide have been deployed in record number to take part in the largest simulation exercise. The fictitious number of injured and distressed mounts to almost 6,500 people.

The hour and the moment of the activation were known only by three persons, president Iohannis, PM Ciolos and myself, to see if we have a reaction of the system, of the authorities involved in such situations,” said the Interior minister Dragos Tudorache in a press conference.

The minister explained the exercise aims at testing the intervention concept that has been defined after the Colectiv tragedy. “What happened after Colectiv was to re-write the procedures and the interventions in emergency situations. We want to see if by this exercise the revised procedures lead to a unitary intervention action. Secondly, we are testing the reaction times and the mobilization ability of the structures countrywide. We decided to activate the exercise during the day and not during the night for we want to see how long it takes for the intervention vehicles to arrive from a country on the outskirts of the country in Bucharest. We want to push the mobilization capacity to the maximum today and tomorrow in order to see how capable we are to react in such situations. All emergency structures will be involved in this exercise, the General Inspectorate for the Emergency Situations, the hospitals, the ambulance, all of them,” minister Tudorache pointed out.

He unveiled that the command center of the exercise will relocate to Ciolpani (near Bucharest) for, in case of major quake, the Interior ministry’s command structure will be relocated there. The Interior minister explains that the facility in Ciolpani is designed to face a quake of over 8-magnitude.

The exercise is called “Seism 2016” and according to the script, the earthquake occurred in Vrancea region on Tuesday morning, with Bucharest and Iasi cities being affected. The code red intervention plan has been activated and the entire emergency units’ staff must go to work.

Secretary of state for emergency situation, Raed Arafat also explained that the intervention forces of thousands of people would be at national level.

The ambulance must have extra staff ready to work in two shifts instead of three. We wait for the first estimations, to see how many victims there are. Some of the forces are to go from Ciolpani unit to Bucharest and Iasi, with beacon light and buzzers. People should not panic if they see firefighter motorcades or intervention vehicles.

Some hundreds people will be deployed to really go to Bucharest. In the future, they must be trained to go on missions without previous orders. In case of major earthquake, everybody must know where to go, unsolicited, with pre-established forces. They must not wait for it might happen that communications fail in case of major disaster,” Arafat explained.

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