by Open-Publishing - Friday 19 May 2006

Twinning South/Latin America

• Experiences accumulated over the last five years are described as useful, when after several large-scale hurricanes, more than 7 million people were evacuated on the island, with total safety guaranteed

THE Meteoro 2006 exercise, which has the objective of preparing the population and leadership bodies at all levels for dealing with disaster situations, will take place May 20-21, a few days before the start of the hurricane season, during which 15 tropical organisms are expected to form, nine of which are expected to reach hurricane status, and at least one of which could affect Cuba.

In statements to Granma daily, Colonel Angel Macareño, second in command of the Civil Defense National General Staff, described as "useful" the experiences accumulated during these exercises over the last five years, after the direct or indirect passage of 10 tropical hurricanes, including several of great intensity, which made it necessary to evacuate more than 7 million Cubans, with their total safety guaranteed.

He said that during Meteoro 2006, the exercise on the 20th will be aimed basically at analyzing objectivity, the degree of security, and enforcement of all disaster mitigation measures, including in the documents drawn up by each agency, in line with what is established by Directive No. 1, and leadership bodies will be participating in that.

On the 21st, activities will mainly take place in the morning, and their objective will be to increase training for the population with respect to measures aimed at reducing the effects of disasters on the community, in line with the risks assessed in each territory and to effect actions to mitigate vulnerabilities identified during a risk study.

The colonel also noted the importance of working hard on the stages that make up the cycle of disaster reduction: prevention, preparation, response and recovery.