“It is a test aimed at the population”
Joan Ramon Cabello is the territorial head of Civil Protection in Tarragona. He is he Alma mater of the drill that will take place this afternoon. The thinking head that has coordinated everything. The Daily He has been able to speak with him to find out how the largest drill in history has been prepared, and to find out some of the details of the day.
Do the people of Tarragona know what they should do today?
We have explained and communicated it in every possible way. Through the media, talks with town halls, posters and frills. We believe that it is difficult for there to be someone from Tarragona who has not heard about it.
Why doesn't the downtown area of Tarragona participate in the drill?
In this case, the hypothesis of the accident that has been simulated has a radius of affectation of three kilometers, which implies that the neighborhoods of Ponent must be confined, not the rest of the city. It should be noted that the hypothesis with which we work is the most probable in the event that an incident occurs again in the chemical industry.
At half past six in the afternoon is an hour where there are many children with their parents in playgrounds. What should they do in this case?
It is very important that they quickly find a nearby place, be it a bar or a shop, and confine themselves inside.
Who will monitor and assess whether the drill has been followed up?
Leaving aside the Civil Protection personnel that will be distributed throughout the territory, the municipalities have technicians distributed in the affected areas. They will act as observers. We already have some outstanding points of interest, where we will intensify the look. In addition, another measure that we will use will be the survey that we will post to the Webto know the perception of the citizens. The population will help us assess the success of the test.
By the way, is PortAventura also within the affected radius?
Only a part, I would say China. In any case, the park closes its doors at six in the evening. We don't know if they will still be emptying the facility when the sirens sound. PortAventura has confirmed to us that it will activate its emergency plan, like other companies.
Is it the biggest drill ever done in history?
Yes, in terms of the number of people affected. In addition, this will be a different drill from the ones we are used to working on from Civil Protection. In this case, the participation of the operatives is reduced. What really interests us is to know if the population understands the message: “if the sirens sound, we must confine ourselves”. It is a drill directed and centered on people. To think that there are 65,000 people called for confinement.
Knowing what the people of Tarragona should do in the event of a chemical accident is a historic claim.
Exact. What happened on Wednesday – today for the reader – is the response to a demand from society. After the explosion in Iqoxe, a crisis table was created to deal with some points for improvement. We want to know if the population has already internalized the automatism of confining itself when hearing sirens.
Almost three years have passed since the Iqoxe incident to carry out this test. Why has it taken so long?
Many changes have been made in chemical risk management since the day of Iqoxe. We have territorialized the emergency plan, returning the powers to the territory, the siren system has been implemented and we have needed almost a year to prepare and outline the drill. It has been worked.