Earthquake simulation exercise taking place next week in Gozo
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The Civil Protection Department has announced that it will be holding an earthquake simulation exercise in Gozo next week.
This large-scale exercise, will involve around 300 participants, and will simulate the scenario in which Malta is hit by an earthquake magnitude 7.6, lasting 20 seconds. CPD personnel will respond to the aftermath of a simulated quake striking the central Mediterranean area 120km South West of Malta.
The exercise project – SIMIT – will test the operational capabilities and limits of emergency services, non-governmental organisations that work in the field of civil protection and foreign humanitarian teams.
It will test the response time and networking communication in the case of such an emergency. The base of operations for all authorities involved will be set up at the ex-heliport in Gozo.
The project, which is being run in collaboration with the CPD counterparts in Sicily, is aimed at developing a network between the two countries, able to forecast, mitigate and manage seismological, hydro-geological and volcanic disasters.
Due to the overwhelming number of requests for rescue and with the need to evacuate people from damaged properties, the Civil Protection Department will request the assistance of the Presidenza della Regione Siciliana-Departimento della Protezione Civile.
The CPD will carry out the evacuation of 100 persons from Gozo to Malta, where, for 48 hours they will be housed in emergency sheltering.
CPD Director John Rizzo explained that the public should not be alarmed, as all the exercise will be under control. He gave thanks to all the entities taking part, various NGOs assisting, owners of sites that are being used, including the Qortin Quarry owners, the area around where the action will be centred.
The exercise starts on the 3rd of September at 5.00pm. It will be open to members of the public and the media.