"A large-scale disaster, caused by a devastating earthquake with an epicenter near Sofia, strikes Bulgaria. Initial figures indicate that 300 people have died, over 150,000 are in need of assistance and more than 200,000 have been affected”.
Fortunately, this is not a real situation, but part of the scenario of the National Exercise of the BRC - "Lozen-23", which will be held from September 21 to 24, 2023 at the organization's National Logistics Training Center in the village of Lozen. In addition to partner institutions, participants in the international course of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) on "Immediate Needs Assessment and Planning in Disaster Situations" will be included in the exercise.
"The damage to the local infrastructure is extensive and has serious environmental dimensions. Sofia Airport is temporarily closed, communications are disrupted, the electricity supply network and the water transmission system are damaged, which puts the health of over 2 million people at risk. There have been reports of flooding due to a breach in the dam wall. International help was requested and the BRC turned to the International Federation, which sent mobile teams. A request for assistance was also made within the "Neighbors Help First" partner network , the scenario of the exercise also states.
The simulation, which will take place in real conditions, will involve 160 professionals from the BRC, teams of the Police Service with search dogs, DG "Fire Safety and Protection of the Population ", teams of the Directorate "Emergency Assistance and Prevention" of the Metropolitan Municipality, representatives of the Unified Rescue System and Municipal Police, as well as 30 participants from other national Red Cross societies, part of the IFRC/PE course.
The purpose of the exercise is to increase the capacity of the organization for actions in crisis and disaster situations, to work out coordination and interaction between the volunteer teams of the BRC and partners.