By Robert Anane, GNA
Accra, May 7, GNA – A simulation exercise to test the country’s level of readiness to deal with an earth-quake would be held this week in Accra.
The week-long exercise would involve organisations that are directly responsible for disaster management such as the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Fire Service, the Ambulance Service, and the 48 Engineer Regiment.
Mr Henry Quartey, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, on behalf of the Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery, launched the exercise and said it was a bold and necessary step towards responding to an earthquake.
He noted that the last destructive earthquake in Ghana occurred in 1939 at 7.22 pm, with an estimated magnitude of 6.5 on the Richter scale.
Mr Quartey, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Ayawaso Central, said after almost eighty years since the last major earthquake in the country, « experts say it could happen once more ».
He said awareness creation and town-hall discussions were needed for the public to be well educated on how to remain safe during an earthquake.
The Deputy Minister said there was the need to ensure that if an earthquake of the same magnitude as that of 1939 occurred again in Accra, the coping mechanisms that had been created would be efficient to deal with its effects.
« I urge all agencies gathered here and our foreign partners to continue to support NADMO in its effort to mitigate effects of disasters, » Mr. Quartey said adding that the Government had strengthened the law, which established NADMO, to make it more effective and efficient.
Brigadier General Kwame Oppong-Kyekyeku, the Board Chairman of NADMO’s Governing Council, said the simulation exercise was to test the ability of the agencies and organisations responsible for disaster management, to respond swiftly to an earthquake in Ghana.
He said it was also to assure the public of the readiness of NADMO and its partners to be up to the task in the event of a disaster.
« I hope that at the end of this simulation exercise, all of us will appreciate the need to always be ready to respond to any disaster in any part of the country, » Brig. Oppong-Kyekyeku said.
The United States Africa Command is providing funding for the exercise, whilst the North Dakota National Guard is also in the country to share experiences in disaster management.
This follows an earlier collaboration between NADMO and the US Embassy as well as the US Africa Command, to undertake a symposium on earthquakes.