A drill organized by the Civil Protection structure in order to test the capacity of the constituent services to respond to severe weather conditions such as typhoons was suspended 45 minutes after it began on Saturday afternoon on account of bad weather conditions.
The operation codenamed “Crystal Fish 2019” was suspended only 45 minutes after it had started and for a period of 2 hours and 40 minutes due to the thunderstorm warning issued by the Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG).
According to a statement from the Unitary Police Service (SPU), the reason for the postponement was related with “residents’ safety” as the drill included the participation of a group of residents that volunteered to join the exercise.
Also citing safety reasons, the Civil Protection body changed some procedures, namely the evacuation of teachers and students from two schools located in the low-lying areas of the city.
The rest of the drill was completed. The services developed numerous kinds of rescue and evacuation activities in several areas of the city, namely in Ilha Verde, Fai Chi Kei, Praia do Manduco, the Inner Harbor area and Coloane, simulating the passage of a super typhoon accompanied by a storm surge and astronomical tide.
According to the same statement, several contingency plans, for example the issuing of an evacuation alert through the alarm system in low-lying areas, were put into practice followed by a security force-organized evacuation along with civil and voluntary associations.
Six emergency shelters were also put into operation as well as four of the meeting points for people in need, with the dispatch of rescue and transport vehicles from these places to the shelters.
During the exercise, the dissemination of evacuation and incident information was also simulated through several means, namely by SMS, mobile application alerts, online media, and social network platforms.
As informed, the implementation of these drills aims to test and improve the emergency response mechanism, as well as to strengthen the capacity of the population and government in the joint response to disasters.