Building Lebanon's resilience in response to disaster risk UNDP organized a Flood simulation on Assi River
"Disaster prevention and preparedness are considered an integral aspect of Lebanon's development policy. The recurrent crisis that Lebanon faces and the risks that continue to surround our country make that an absolute necessity", Dutch Ambassador to Lebanon Mr. Han-Maurits Schaapveld said during a field exercise simulating a flood scenario on the borders of Assi River in Hermel organized on Wednesday 10 May 2017 by the UNDP Disaster Risk Management Project at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
The exercises which was attended by several officials and the region's dignitaries was organized under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers Mr. Saad Hariri. PM Hariri interrupted a Council of Ministers meeting to follow the simulation from the National Operations Room (NOR) with several ministers in the Grand Serail in Beirut using a special communication system, tested for the first time, connecting the NOR with a Mobile Operations Room (MOV) present close to the flood area. During the call, Baalebek Hermel Governor Mr. Bashir Khodor briefed the Prime Minister on the situation on the field and the measures taken for rescue and evacuation. In fact a public school and a Syrian refugees camp located near the flood area were evacuated to safe sites, and several injured and casualties were rescued from the river and transferred to the nearest hospitals.
The exercise was an opportunity to test the effectiveness of the Baalbek Hermel Response Plan to disaster risk. This plan was developed by Governor Khodor and the Governorate’s DRM Committee, representing all the administrations, ministries, and key local stakeholders in the region. It was developed based on a risk assessment study and the needs of the region, with the support of UNDP DRM project, and thanks to the generous contribution of the European Union, the embassy of The Netherlands, and the Government of Kuwait.