Quake simulation in Malaysia tests Asean disaster preparedness

  • Nation
  • Monday, 19 Sep 2005

SERDANG, Malaysia (AP) - With sirens wailing, ambulances and fire trucks arrived at the skeleton of a 20-story condominium. Rescue workers ran in with power saws, as neighbouring countries prepared to rush in help and equipment by air. 

In a scene simulating a devastating earthquake, rescue workers and officials of Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore sprang into action Monday to carry out their first-ever regional disaster response exercise. 

"The scenario is that an earthquake has rocked the whole of Malaysia, causing the prime minister to declare an emergency and seek foreign assistance,'' said Nadzri Siron, the official in charge of the exercise. 

According to the scenario, many people were trapped in the rubble, he said. 

The exercise was conducted under an agreement signed in July by the foreign ministers of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. 

It began with scores of Malaysian firefighters and members of a special response team conducting search and rescue operations in an abandoned, partly constructed 20-story building in Serdang on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur that was supposed to have been damaged by a quake. 

Workers in blue overalls and red helmets rushed in with empty stretchers and returned with dummies simulating the dead or injured. 

Other workers went in with power saws and drills to dig through the "rubble.'' 

As it became apparent that the "toll'' was high, a call was issued for regional assistance from Brunei and Singapore, which sent help by air. 

Nadzri said the exercise would provide guidance and lessons for the development of regional preparedness and cooperation during disasters, such as last year's tsunami. 

The Philippines designated a "chief referee'' for the exercise, heading a group of 10 referees, or analyst-observers, from the 10 Asean countries. 

The exercise is to be followed by an evaluation meeting on Tuesday and a workshop with the United Nations on Wednesday to discuss logistics and regional disaster management. 

Participants in the exercise included 182 people from Malaysia, 27 from Singapore and six from Brunei. - AP 

Latest from AP-Wire

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Nation

Bentong Prison, staff quarters to be under EMCO from Jan 25-Feb 8
Ismail Sabri: 550 arrested for violating SOP on Saturday (Jan 23), 130 did not wear face masks
Covid-19: 3,346 new cases, 11 fatalities bring death toll to 678
Covid-19: Cases up by 3,346, bringing total to 183,801 (updated daily)
Bomoh charged with sexually assaulting female patient in Kota Baru
Ramasamy criticises NSC's approval for Thaipusam chariot procession in Batu Caves
Whale shark carcass found floating off Pulau Pangkor
Sabah govt wants jumbo butchers to be caught and charged in court
Beware of scammers advertising 'loan offers' via social media, text messages, say police
Speed up Covid-19 testing at labs in Sabah to overcome backlog, says Liew

Stories You'll Enjoy