Big earthquake scenario in Romania: 1,500 dead, over 4,000 injured in Bucharest
A large simulation exercise meant at testing the response and intervention capacity in case a major earthquake hits Romania took place in Bucharest and Iasi on Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to the scenario presented by the Ministry of Interior, a 7.6-magnitude hit the Vrancea seismic area on Tuesday morning, followed by a 5.6-magnitude replica at 14:30. The presumed number of casualties take into account for such a scenario is worrying: more than 1,500 people dead and over 4,100 injured in Bucharest, according to the data presented by the ministry.
The Emergency Situations Inspectorates (ISU) across the country were alerted immediately after the strong earthquake presumably occurred, and the red intervention plan was established. This meant that all ISU staff were required to report to their units. ISU crews from all over Romania were required to head to Bucharest and Iasi to help the local intervention units.
According to the simulation’s results, more than 1,500 deaths were reported in Bucharest after 24 hours, as well as 4,150 injured people. Also, the number of individuals who remained homeless amounted to 2,750. In case this scenario was real, the authorities would accommodate them temporarily at the National Arena Stadium, and in schools.
The most affected areas in such a scenario would be the historical center of Bucharest, Pantelimon, Baneasa, Calea Mosilor, and Pajura neighbourhoods, and the George Cosbuc area.
In terms of infrastructure, the authorities are prepared to see more than 200 damaged buildings and several others affected, including a hospital, four schools, and two factories. The gas transport network may also be damaged during the earthquake. Thus, the authorities are ready to suspend utilities until it is safe to be resume the gas distribution.
In Iasi county, the simulation took into account 900 people dead, 2,456 injured, and 800 homeless, as well as 60 damaged buildings and a collapsed dam. The most affected area would be the city's central area, according to the scenario presented by the Ministry.
More than 6,100 firefighters from across the country are participating in the exercise, as well as 1,000 gendarmes, 700 traffic policemen, 89 doctors, and 378 nurses and paramedics. There are also several helicopters, and ambulances. Moreover, the Ministry of Defense sent almost 500 troops to Bucharest and 136 to Iasi.
The exercise will continue today, and will include several other scenarios for the emergency units. For example, last night, the exercise included presumed explosions at the Dinamo Stadium and Manuc Inn in Bucharest, and an explosion at an apartment building in Iasi.
According to the Ministry of Interior, most of the exercises during this simulation were carried out in unused area so they wouldn't affect the normal activities in the cities.
Irina Popescu, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photo source: Ministerul Afacerilor Interne on Facebook)