KUALA LUMPUR: An exercise to test the response of rescue teams in Asean during a major “earthquake” was held here to develop an operating procedure for the region.
The first Asean Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise at Seri Kembangan yesterday involved 23 teams from Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.
The Asean Secretariat hopes to formulate the Standard Operating Procedures, covering Customs and Immigration clearance, to coordinate rescue work during major disasters.
National Security Division director Baharuddin Abdul Hamid said the exercise would help Asean countries to iron out problems and build understanding.
“We can exchange expertise and knowledge through this exercise,” he said.
The exercise was based on a massive earthquake scenario where hundreds of people were trapped and scores killed when a 21-storey condominium collapsed.
The “earthquake” which struck at 4.30am was felt throughout the country with Klang Valley being the worst affected.
A series of actions were taken with the Prime Minister declaring a state of emergency while his deputy, who is national commander of the Natural Disaster Relief Committee, called for assistance from Singapore and Brunei.
Subang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Fuad Talin, who directed the “rescue operations,” said 182 personnel took part in the exercise.
The exercise involved the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Civil Defence, police personnel and Light Strike Force Unit, and the Fire and Rescue Department’s Dog Unit.
Twenty-three personnel from Singapore’s Disaster Assistance Rescue Team (DART) and Rescue Team, and six from Brunei’s Fire Services Department also took part.