EUrban Water Aid project Field Exercise: Large scale flooding in Hungary
April 14, 2017
With the participation of 4 countries an exercise simulating large scale flooding had been taking place in Szabolcsveresmart.
In the first week of April a Full Scale Exercise was held within the framework of the European Water Aid project (EUWA), with the participation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Disaster Management Directorate, the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Disaster Management Directorate, Croatian, Slovak and Serbian civil protection agencies, Budapest Waterworks, Belgrade Waterworks, the Upper-Tisza Region Water Management Directorate and the Hungarian Red Cross.
Szabolcsveresmart and the Lake Rétközi belonging to the settlement hosted the exercise focusing on protection against damages caused by flood. Apart from the flood response teams there were instructors, evaluators, role players, exercise controllers and support personnel adding up to more than 300 participants in total. The exercise comprised different flood response techniques including water rescue, water pumping, water purification, and flood containment.
Tisza, the largest river of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County, flows through the county 250 km long, therefore the participants of the nearly week-long international field exercise had to solve flood associated tasks, practicing the procedure for requesting and offering assistance and the cooperation between local authorities and international teams, both at local and at EU level.
According to the practice scenario, due to the large flood coming from Ukraine and the significant amount of rainfall the dam burst and the settlement was flooded. Forces and tools of local professionals required international assistance. Installations imitating streets and buildings were created on the lake, from which the teams had to rescue victims and animals, and salvaging properties. Besides the rescue teams, the involvement of actors playing the role of disaster victims made the exercise more realistic.
Col. Péter Jackovics, leader of the EUWA project and Head of the Emergency Management Department in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Disaster Management Directorate, emphasized: water purification, flood containment, water damage protection, as well as provision of information to the public were being tested during the exercise.
The Command Post Exercise in November 2016 and the Full Scale Exercise in April 2017 had been prepared by the participants at several workshops during the eighteen-month programme. The Hungarian Red Cross and the Upper-Tisza Region Water Management Directorate were also involved in the implementation of the planned tasks by the Szabolcsveresmart reservoir, with the coordination of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Disaster Management Directorate National Inspectorate General for Civil Protection.