Rescue Board to evacuate 1,000 volunteers in Muuga as part of exercise

Rescue workers during an exercise.
Rescue workers during an exercise. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Thursday and Friday will see the CREVEX crisis regulation exercise come to the town of Muuga and the surrounding municipalities, with large-scale evacuation, crisis communication and extensive rescue efforts practiced.

The CREVEX series of crisis regulation exercises started in March and will run through to November, while the September 28-29 major exercise is its most extensive element, said Erkki Tori, head of the Government Office's security and national defense coordination bureau.

In all, more than 3,000 people are involved in staging the 24 exercises that make up CREVEX. The series of exercises deals with state agencies, local governments, schools, nursing homes and others' handling of major disasters and large-scale evacuation.

"The scenario of the exercise has been consciously exaggerated, and no such threats exist in the real world," Tori explained.

The ministries have concluded their tests, a school has been evacuated in full, and there are other similar elements practiced.

"From the point of view of the Government Office, as the body in charge of coordinating the 24-item series of exercises, it is important to see how the state, local governments and residents can cope in such situations, " Erkki Tori said, adding that it is also crucial to stress test society looking at what is happening in Ukraine.

1,000 volunteers to be evacuated from Muuga

Margo Klaos, director general of the Rescue Board, said that the September 28-29 exercise has three main goals: evacuating 1,000 volunteers, solving an industrial accident situation and residents' emergency alerts and crisis communication.

"It is a public exercise and one of the biggest from recent years," he added.

Alarm systems, SMS alerts and new television and radio solutions will also be tested out in the region, as well as the Rescue Board and its partners' ability to disseminate information and use media amplification.

Short-term traffic restrictions are possible in the Muuga garden suburb

Marti Magnus, head of the CREVEX exercise, said of its scenario that a fire resulting from a collision of two trains will create the danger of a massive explosion, which prompts the authorities to evacuate the area.

Around 1,500 people will be sent SMS warnings that will also mention the fact they are part of an exercise and not an actual threat. People are expected to provide feedback to the messages, Magnus said.

The main events will unfurl in Muuga and the Muuga garden suburb (Muuga aedlinn), with Viimsi, Jõelähtme and Maardu, as well as Tallinn affected to a lesser extent.

Magnus said that people in the area who have not volunteered to be evacuated should just go about their daily lives.

There will be no emergency responses, Magnus said, adding that while temporary traffic restrictions are possible and residents might hear alarms go off, no major stoppages are planned.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Marcus Turovski

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