The scenario of Wednesday’s ‘Enceladus 2018’ exercise in Larnaca was how to deal with the devastating consequences of an earthquake measuring 7.3 degrees on the Richter scale off the Larnaca coast.
A multi-service co-ordination centre was operated by staff from about 30 services including civil defence, the Larnaca district administration, police, the national guard, the fire brigade, Larnaca general hospital, the municipality, Cyta and the electricity authority.
The exercise was attended by six observers from Israel and two from the civil defence of Greece. According to commander of civil defence Andreas Frantzis “their visit is part of the trilateral cooperation of Cyprus, Greece and Israel”.
“All co-competent services are involved in the exercise, the plans are being tested and several issues raised by the European Union are being updated, such as the regulation of telecommunications and electricity in order to improve co-operation,” Frantzis said.
He added the exercise is centred on Larnaca but some events will take place in the evening in Nicosia, such as a de-activation exercise taking place in cooperation with the fire services in Strovolos.
Permanent secretary of the interior ministry Kypros Kyprianou praised the exercise, saying it provided the opportunity to identify any weaknesses, to deal with them and to improve them.
The exercise which is named ‘Enceladus’ after a giant in Greek mythology was based in Larnaca as earthquakes often happen off the south coast of Cyprus.