Simulated Exercise: Typhoon Disaster Scenario
“In the early morning of 27 August 2008, Typhoon “X” with a velocity of 140 km/hour landed at Muang District, Rayong, an industrial and coastal province in Thailand. The typhoon caused heavy damage to houses, public buildings and facilities, cargo ships and fishing boats. It also damaged electricity poles, triggering a power shortage in the province. Moreover, it caused two chemical gas tanks and pipe racks in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate to explode, resulting in a high number of fatalities and injuries as well as damage to the environment. Typhoon “X” also caused houses and buildings in nearby provinces to collapse. The national government, directed by National Crisis Management Center (NCMC), responded swiftly to the disaster. A state of disaster was declared by the Prime Minister. In view of the overwhelming need for fire fighting capacity, and search and rescue and relief assistance, the NCMC of the affected country requested for assistance from ASEAN countries, and relevant UN and international organisations through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance. ASEAN Member States responded swiftly by mobilising their disaster response assets, including search and rescue, medical and fire fighting teams. Other local and international organisations also joined hands in the operation. ”
ASEAN’s regional emergency response and humanitarian assistance capacities will be put to the test in the simulated typhoon disaster scenario depicted above on 27 August 2008 at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in the Rayong Province, Thailand. The exercise is part of the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise 2008, code-named ARDEX-08.
The simulated disaster response operations will be led by Thailand, with the support of ASEAN Member States under the guidance of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). Firefighting teams, experts on hazardous materials and medical teams from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore will participate in the joint emergency response operations, joining the response teams from Thailand. The exercise will also involve evacuation of displaced population affected by the disaster. The ASEAN Emergency Rapid Assessment Team (ERAT) also will take part in the exercise, together with teams from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Thai Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
ARDEX-08 is the fourth in a series of annual disaster simulation exercises that ASEAN conducts to enhance the capacities and capabilities of Member States in joint disaster management operations. Last year’s exercise, hosted by Singapore in October 2007, simulated a collapsed structure scenario. The scenarios used in each exercise attempt to replicate the scale and nature of destruction brought about by disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and typhoons which occur in some of the Member States from time to time.
ARDEX-08 will draw on lessons learnt from the mobilisation of the ASEAN-ERAT after Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment. The deployment of ASEAN-ERAT to Myanmar, under the ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedure (SASOP) for disaster emergency response operations, was the first-ever experience for ASEAN.
ARDEX-08 is expected to generate constructive and practical inputs for the implementation of the AADMER, in particular the refinement of the SASOP. The simulation exercise also will directly benefit ASEAN Member States as national and international mechanisms for disaster and emergency response, including cooperation and collaboration in humanitarian actions, are collectively understood, tested, and enhanced.
ARDEX-08 is one of the many regional emergency response capacity building activities of the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), who are guided by the AADMER which the ASEAN Foreign Ministers signed on 26 July 2005 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
The ACDM welcomes the participation of other countries; local, regional and international organisations and the media to observe ARDEX-08. Interested parties may obtain further information from the ASEAN Secretariat (Ms. Adelina Kamal), Tel: (62-21) 7262991, or the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Thailand (Mr. Adthaporn Singhawichai), Tel: (662) 2430020 ext. 2401.
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In July 2005, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers signed the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). As part of its endeavours to prepare for the implementation of the AADMER, the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) conducts the annual ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX).
The first simulation exercise (ARDEX-05) was conducted in Selangor, Malaysia in September 2005. The second exercise (ARDEX-06) was held in Kein Svay District and Takhmau City, Kandal Province, Cambodia, in September 2006. The third exercise (ARDEX-07) was organised in Singapore in October 2007. The fourth exercise (ARDEX-08) will take place in the Rayong Province, Thailand in August 2008.
For more information about ACDM, visit www.acdm-online.net
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was founded on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN in 1984, Viet Nam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999. ASEAN currently has 10 Member States.
The aims and purposes of ASEAN are to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region; and to promote regional peace and stability, with mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all nations.
As of 2007, the ASEAN region has a population of about 576 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometres, and a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 1.282 billion.
For more information, visit www.asean.org