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Cyprus

Civil defence in Larnaca earthquake exercise

Officials involved in operation Enceladus

Dealing with a catastrophic earthquake was the scenario for a civil defence exercise which was successfully conducted in Larnaca on Wednesday morning.

A total of 42 government services and several NGOs were involved in the exercise, named ‘Enceladus’ after a giant in Greek mythology.

“The agencies worked together to address multiple impacts after an earthquake, such as large numbers of casualties, major technological accidents, damage to the Larnaca International Airport, collapsing buildings and a large number of homeless people,” said a written statement from the civil defence services. “The aim of the exercise was to train and prepare the readiness of the services and cooperation between them in handling a devastating earthquake.”

The exercise took place in four phases. The civil defence created local operation control centres with the task of coordinating services to address gas leakages and fires at oil installations, the management of the airport and finally creating and managing a camp for those made homeless by the disaster.

“Population growth, the construction of buildings, the storage and use of hazardous materials in bulk and generally our contemporary way of life, has made it necessary to take civil action to prevent and deal with a crisis,” the statement said.

Cyprus has been hit several times in the past by earthquakes, many of them centred along the south coast.

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