Field Simulation Scenario on Disasters Response in Byblos
Within the scope of implementing the National Response Plan, the UNDP - Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers with the collaboration of the National Committee of Disaster Management and the Response Committee of the Caza of Byblos implemented a field simulation scenario on earthquake associated with a tsunami disasters management in Byblos City on May 8 2014.
Before the simulation began, a meeting was held at the Ontosh Hall and was attended by General Mohammad Khair representing Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Swiss Ambassador to Lebanon Ruth Flint, UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Ross Mountain, head of Byblos municipality Ziad Hawwat and representatives from the Civil Defense, Internal Security Forces and the Lebanese Red Cross.
Ruth Flint in her word stressed the importance of the work which has been carried out by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) partnership with the Lebanese Red Cross which “aims at ensuring a standardized and effective pre-hospital care and response in all 46 stations throughout the country and the current project aims at improving major incidents preparedness and response.”
Ross Mountain highlighted the support which UNDP has provided for the country and announced the “development of a national operations room and hotline based at the Serail that will together with a mobile rapid response facility, bring together for the first time representative of Key government and civil society first responder on a 24 hour standing basis to support immediate coordinated response to disaster of any sort, man-made or natural.”
As for Ziad Hawat, he stated, “We are announcing the development of a plan for the future of Byblos in the next 30 years to be not only a more beautiful city but also safer and stronger. And what we are doing today is only the first step along the road we will be following. This simulation should not be taken lightly and should be assessed in terms of weaknesses and strengths in order to be applied in a more effective and comprehensive manner.”
Finally, General Mohammad Khair ended by saying,“ the goal of this plan is for the municipalities to become ready on the technical and human aspects to better manage the implications of disasters and crises at the local level and building local capacities at different stages of crises management which contributes significantly to the reduction of the negative effects of disasters.”
The simulation then took place, which included live exercises and evacuation of students at the Saint Coeur School to the public garden and rescuing injured detainees in car wrecks by the Civil Defense, receiving patients and transporting them to the nearest hospital by the Lebanese Red Cross, isolating affected areas, managing the joint field operations room, maritime surveillance and rescue of injured public by the Army and the ISF and warning citizens before the arrival of the tsunami, directing people to safe places, securing routes and roads for logistical support by the Municipality of Jbeil and the Jbeil Crisis Management Room.
The simulation aims at putting into action the response plan including the Byblos Crisis Management Cell in terms of coordination, communication and cooperation among the different stakeholders in general, and the communication with the Field Operations Room established by the Lebanese Armed Forces to coordinate search and rescue operations with the Civil Defense, the Lebanese Red Cross, the Internal Security Forces and Byblos Municipality in specific.
The event will include participants from the National Committee for disasters management and coordination at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers under the presidency of the General Secretary of the High Council of Defense, members of Byblos Crisis Management Cell, Army Operations, Internal Security Forces Operations, Civil Defense Operations, Lebanese Red Cross Operations and the team of Disaster Risk Management Unit.