Raj Dayal, Minister of Environment, National Emergency Centre and Beach Authority, has come forth with new measures for the management of natural calamities. He made public the steps to be taken during a press conference held on Saturday, 20th of December.
The police together with the Special Mobile Force (SMF) have been mobilised for the purpose of the new measures. In fact, representatives from both – the Commissioner of Police, Dhun Iswur Rampersad and the commander of the SMF, Kemraj Servansingh – were present during the press conference, reflective of the new arrangements. Members of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Committee had also been called for the conference.
Natural calamities might strike at any time, unexpectedly. To protect the population while they hit the island at any one time, the authorities have to be prepared in advance to deal with emergency situations. The strategies worked out involve quick intervention (as fast as possible) from the moment the crisis takes over.
Raj Dayal addressed the question of the loss of lives during natural disasters. He believes that proactive measures will minimise the number of lives lost. To reach his aim of trying to set up a new set of measures, he stated to have turned to the National Disaster Risk Management Committee, the police, the Minister of Health, together with the Red Cross.
The goal set by the minister is to have the authorities respond to the happenings during a natural disaster within 15 minutes. He affirmed that the State does have the means and resources to come to the help of individuals in distress. He reported to be against dangerous rescue methods. As such, he prefers making use of the helicopters owned by the State.
The security and rescue measures will henceforth include the use of a helicopter, and an armoured ambulance. Furthermore, a unit of the SMF will permanently be on mode ‘stand-by’ at the Line Barracks in case of floods.
Moreover, rivers and other water channels have been cleared of pollutants obstructing the water flow to prevent the accumulation of water.
Some regions of the country have been identified as high-risk zones, like, Grand-Sable, Rivière-des-Galets and Vallée-des-Prêtres.
He also mentioned simulation exercises to ensure that the officers are indeed well-prepared.
The series of measures will be finalised by the 31st of December.