World / Europe

First joint EU-China civil exercise begins in Shanghai

By Chen Yingqun ( Updated: 2016-05-11 14:41

"EU-SCIP 2016", the first-ever joint full-scale exercise with the participation of both European and Chinese civil protection teams, starts in Shanghai Chemical Industry Park on Wednesday.

The joint full-scale exercise aims to test and reinforce the Chinese civil protection system across all levels, and will last until May 13.

The exercise is taking place at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, home to production plants of several large European and Chinese enterprises in the chemical sector.

It is one of the highlights of the EU-China Disaster Risk Management Project, a five-year project supporting China's work in disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness.

EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides said, "The close collaboration between the European and Chinese civil protection experts in this novel joint exercise visibly illustrates the achievements of the EU-China Disaster Risk Management Project. It shows that, learning from each other, we can significantly enhance disaster preparedness to limit the impact of potential future disasters."

During the three-day exercise, European and Chinese civil protection teams will respond to a simulated scenario based on a series of chemical incidents resulting from a powerful typhoon striking China, affecting the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park directly and provoking the collapse of some buildings, as well as a fire in a warehouse storing dangerous chemicals. As a consequence, dense smoke and toxic gases along with the leak of a toxic liquid generating a plume of toxic vapour would threaten the health of residents in nearby districts.

In addition, a ship overturned by the typhoon leaks toxic liquids and fuel, polluting the water. Due to the seriousness of the many disasters, Chinese authorities request EU assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

As a full-scale exercise, the exercise includes both table-top exercises and onsite drills. On the Chinese side, professional rescue teams, volunteer civil protection units, municipal, provincial and national governments and the population of two districts of Shanghai will participate.

The EU civil protection team is working in close collaboration with Chinese civil protection experts, contributing to the Chinese response efforts. Three European enterprises with large production sites in the Industry Park are participating in the onsite drills.

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