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Civil Defence - Exercise Paradise

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Civil Defence - Exercise Paradise

18 February 2009 - The Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group is holding an exercise designed to test its response to a major earthquake affecting most of Otago.

Exercise Paradise will be based on the scenario of an alpine fault rupture, with an epicentre west of Paradise Valley at the head of Lake Wakatipu.

This scenario was chosen as large areas of Otago would be severely affected by an alpine fault earthquake. The exercise will allow the emergency management group to practice its combined response to the effects of landslides, building and infrastructure damage, liquefaction and earthquake generated waves on the Central Otago lakes.

The CDEM group comprises emergency personnel from the emergency services, each of Otago's five district councils, the regional council and health and social services.

Otago CEDEM Group Controller, Wayne Scott said, "Exercise Paradise has been designed largely as a learning opportunity to allow the agencies involved to activate their emergency operating centres, test systems, and practice their communications."

Throughout the exercise Operation Centres will operate in Dunedin, Oamaru, Balclutha, Alexandra and Queenstown. The Group Emergency Operating Centre will be based at the Otago Regional Council offices in Stafford Street, Dunedin.

"The exercise will test the capacity of each group and assess the effectiveness of civil defence and emergency management resources across Otago. It will focus on the co-ordination and communication between all CDEM Group member organisations," Mr Scott said.

"Everyone in Otago would be affected by a major alpine fault earthquake. These sort of exercises help build and maintain the team skills that would be required in such an event."

The exercise will be held over six hours from 9am to 3pm on Thursday 19 February and will not involve any outside activities that will affect the public.

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