By Lizzy Ioannidou
Larnaca municipality has created a website to inform residents living near oil company facilities along the Larnaca-Dhekelia road about safety and response measures in the event of an accident, following concerns raised by the residents.
The website, www.seveso.lca.com.cy, states that the guidelines “are intended to inform those local residents who would be directly affected on the correct and appropriate response in the event of an accident – so that they may protect themselves and their families as best as possible”.
On the website, a booklet entitled ‘Basic Safety Guide for the prevention of Major-Accident Hazards’ contains basic instructions for how to respond to an accident calmly and correctly in various situations. It also responds to frequently asked questions such as “How will I know?” and “Why should I not use the telephone?”.
The online booklet has also been made available in print form and has been distributed to the houses and premises that are located in the areas of immediate danger.
“Even though the chances of such an incident occurring are very slim, it is prudent to be aware of the dangers they pose to both human life and the area’s flora and fauna,” the website says.
Larnaca residents have long campaigned for the removal of the storage facilities and companies are due to move their depots to Vassiliko near Limassol by 2020.
But mayor Andreas Vyras said in May that his municipality rejected the third draft of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government and the companies because of a clause which allows a company to opt out of the deal if they wish to, by giving a month’s written notice.