ASEAN will conduct a Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise labelled ARDEX-05 on 19 September 2005 in Selangor, Malaysia. The exercise will be the first regional exercise involving a number of countries in ASEAN and mobilisation of personnel and light to medium equipment across borders.

The simulation exercise is conducted within the framework of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, signed by the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN on 26 July 2005 during the 38th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The exercise will provide guidance and lessons for the development of ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures under the Agreement.

The simulation exercise will be based on a scenario of a serious earthquake throughout Peninsular Malaysia, affecting mostly the State of Selangor. A joint urban search and rescue operation will be performed on a cluster of high-rise buildings in the State of Selangor. Malaysia will mobilise its emergency response capacities to respond to the situation. A widespread and heavy casualty will trigger Malaysia to call for regional assistance from other ASEAN countries. Brunei Darussalam and Singapore will deploy their urban search and rescue capacities to respond to Malaysia’s request for assistance.

Apart from testing mobilisation of cross-border assistance and deployment of urban search and rescue capacities, the three ASEAN countries will also take the opportunity to test their own preparedness and internal coordination. Malaysia will mobilise its emergency response capacities, including 24 personnel from Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, 24 personnel from Special Malaysian Assistance and Response Team (SMART), Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Welfare Department, Subang Jaya Municipal Council, Information Department and Emergency Medical Services around Kuala Lumpur. Total personnel from Malaysia to be deployed and mobilised for the exercise is estimated around 80 personnel. Singapore will be sending its overseas rescue contingent from the Singapore Civil Defence Force. Experienced in responding to regional incidents and exercises, the contingent will comprise specialist personnel and rescue units from its elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART). Brunei Darussalam will send 6 special squad members of Brunei Fire Services Department to participate in the exercise. Brunei’s special squad members will also bring with them light and medium rescue equipment for their own use during the exercise. Philippines will designate a Chief Referee for the exercise, heading a group of 10 referees from the ASEAN countries.

The exercise will be followed by an evaluation meeting on 20 September and a workshop on 22 September to incorporate lessons learned from the exercise into the ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. A joint workshop with the UN Joint Logistics Centre will be held on 21 September to deliberate on the critical role of logistics in regional arrangements.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is composed of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

The Media is welcomed to cover this event.

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The ASEAN Secretariat

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