Ecuador

IOM Trains Ecuadorian Officials in Natural Disaster Preparedness

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Ecuador - This week IOM Ecuador, in coordination with the National Secretariat for Risk Management (SNGR), held technical workshops in Latacunga, Ecuador, to build national capacity in the event of a mass evacuation due to a natural disaster (MEND). The training was designed to prepare for an eruption of Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano.

Building on the MEND methodology, which focuses on preparedness, early warning, evacuation procedures and emergency shelter, this IOM-led initiative, in coordination with the UN Humanitarian Country Team, supported the government in identifying gaps in existing mass evacuation planning and ways to address them.

The training was directed by Albrecht Beck and Susanne Klink – two specialists in Civilian Protection from IOM’s Department of Operations and Emergencies in Geneva, Switzerland.

Participants included representatives of the National Police, Firefighters, the National Army, the Red Cross, the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, the SNGR, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Education, and officials from the Decentralized Autonomous Governments located in the zones of possible impact.

As part of the same emergency training, an additional workshop will be held today in Quito, aimed at authorities on the national level. Based on the results of the Latacunga workshops, participants will analyze the development of plans for mass evacuation and define protocols for their implementation.

Cotopaxi is the second highest peak in Ecuador at 5897 meters above sea level. It is also one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Since August 14, 2015, and 138 years after its last big eruption, it has experienced a high level of activity, with release of volcanic material and fumes.

For more information, please contact Jimena Almeida at IOM Ecuador, Email: jalmeida@iom.int, Tel. +59 32 3934400

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