The 2013 ASEAN Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise ARDEX-13 began in Hanoi on October 21, bringing together relevant forces from all ASEAN member nations and observers from Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Australia and the US.

At the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai called for closer coordination and mutual support among ASEAN in response to large-scale natural disasters, which have recently been spotted in extreme, unpredicted patterns, hindering the development of many nations.

Deputy PM Hai highly valued the fact that the regional management of natural disasters remains a priority and part of cooperation between ASEAN and its partners.

“Vietnam is always an active and responsible ASEAN member in the implementation of the regional Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER),” he noted.

The four-day event will simulate the scenario of super typhoon Neptune that makes landfall in Vietnam’s Red River Delta region and causes large-scale flooding, affecting the dyke systems and tens of thousands of people who are in need of emergency assistance.

At the strategic level, the event will enable participants to evaluate issues related to information sharing, regulate activities in response to emergencies and deploy relief aid operations.

They will be requested to transmit information to the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance and other regional states to request assistance. Customs, immigration and quarantine will also take place to test the entry procedure for search and rescue.

At the tactical level, ARDEX-13 emphasises disaster rescue and relief operations performed by the host Vietnam with the support of other regional countries.

Workshops featuring Vietnam’s disaster management system and AHA’s working mechanism will also be held.

The ASEAN search and rescue forces will coordinate in specific scenarios and provide on-site emergency assistance in flooded areas, collapsed buildings, field hospitals and in the wake of chemical incidents.-VNA