ETC Activated for ‘Sorland Hurricane Emergency’
Large-scale humanitarian exercise TRIPLEX starts today
Armed with pelican cases crammed full of equipment, a 10-person Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) response team officially deployed to ‘Sorland’ today, in support of the population affected by landslides, flooding and a category 3 hurricane.
… Or so the scenario goes.
The response team did physically deploy, however, just to Norway instead of Sorland and to a hypothetical emergency as part of TRIPLEX 2016 - a large-scale, humanitarian field exercise to practice international cooperation and coordination in a sudden-onset emergency scenario.
Over 250+ emergency responders from more than 30 different humanitarian and governmental organisations are participating in the exercise convened by the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP).
The ETC team will be deploying standard ETC Internet Connectivity and Security Telecommunications services; as well as demonstrating, testing and stressing a range of new solutions, including Location Services, ETC Reporter and the IHP Customer Service module. In line with the ETC2020 vision, the ETC response team will also test the processes and procedures for facilitating communications services for the affected community.
As of 10:00 local time today, the scenario is that unusually heavy rainfall over the first three weeks of September has caused floods and landslides across Sorland. According to government data, an estimated 150,000 people are affected, 35,000 people are temporarily displaced and at least 1,245 people have lost their lives. By 14:00 the clusters had been activated and the team travelled into the country at 15:30. The response team comprises representatives from ETC members, Ericsson Response, Government of Luxembourg, and Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), along with FITTEST, the emergency response capacity of global lead, World Food Programme (WFP).
In true emergency exercise style, the events will continue to unravel throughout the next days, putting the skills of emergency responders to the test. All the best to the team!