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(CNN Spanish) -- Colombia is preparing for a National Emergency Response Drill, which aims to prepare the population for "events generated by different threatening phenomena," according to authorities.
The drill will prepare the population to know the risks that threaten their communities, whether earthquakes, volcanic activities, floods, tropical cyclones, tsunamis, avalanches, among others, as well as the risk scenarios to which Colombians are most exposed in the different areas and regions of the country, according to the Risk Management and Natural Disasters Unit (Ungrd) of Colombia.
The objective of the drill is to prepare the populations to know how to act in these cases in the face of an emergency.
The 2023 national drill will be held on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m.
At that time alarms will sound to evacuate from closed places. Previously there will be preparation of the authorities of each municipality or city.
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File photo. People remain on the streets after an earthquake in Bogotá, on August 17, 2023. A strong earthquake shook Bogota on Thursday, triggering a brief wind of panic in the streets of the Colombian capital. (Credit: JUAN PABLO PINO/AFP via Getty Images)
What is the drill?
The emergency response drills have made it possible to demonstrate in the communities that "everyone is exposed to being affected by the different phenomena that occur in the country, and that citizens have the responsibility to manage these risks," says the Ungrd of Colombia in a report on the 2021 National Risk Drill.
"The drills have helped change the perception of citizens and communities who thought that emergencies and disasters and risk management was a responsibility of relief agencies and state entities," says the entity.
In the 2021 National Drill, the day tested the effectiveness of strategy plans, protocols or procedures, and helped identify safe zones, meeting points, emergency exits and shelters.
The actions that will be carried out on this day will be:
Once the alarms sound at 10:00 a.m. people are invited to evacuate from the place where they are to a previously agreed meeting point.
"Simulations" will be carried out, says the Ungrd, of events that may happen around each community, but above all, the objective of this activity is to identify and update the family, business or community emergency plan.
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Every region has its threats: this is the preparation
The UNGRD proposed a series of possible risks for each region of Colombia, taking into account the most recurrent phenomena and the impact they could generate if they occur.
The entity defined the following threatening phenomena and the regions involved, for which they will prepare this October 4:
Earthquakes — The departments involved in this type of drill are: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cauca, Cesar, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Huila, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander, Tolima and Valle del Cauca. And in the Orinoquía the departments of Vichada, Casanare, Meta and Arauca.
Tsunami — The departments involved will be in the coastal areas of Chocó, Valle del Cauca, Cauca and Nariño.
Floods — The preparation for this phenomenon will be two-way.
For flash floods, which occur in areas with high mountain basins and strong gradients, according to the Ungrd, it will be in some sectors of the departments of La Guajira, Cesar, Magdalena, Atlántico, Bolívar, Sucre and Córdoba. They will also be in Vichada, Casanare, Meta and Arauca. And in the Amazon region, in southern Colombia, in Caquetá.
For slow floods, which occur in flat areas of the Caribbean regions already mentioned, as well as in the Orinoquía. And in the Amazon, it will be in the departments of Caquetá, Guaviare, Guainía, Vaupés and Amazonas.
Hurricanes — The drills will be in coastal areas of the country such as the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, which is the insular zone of Colombia. And in the continental Caribbean region it will be done in sectors of La Guajira, Magdalena, Atlántico, Bolívar, Sucre, Córdoba and Urabá, in the north of the country.
Volcanic activities — They will be made in the departments of Nariño, Cauca, Huila, Caldas, Tolima, in central and western Colombia, where there is a volcanic presence.
There the threats are the increase in seismic activity, deformation, eruptive columns, ash emission, among other phenomena associated with an eruption.