Exercise to deal with environmental emergencies starts in Tabuk region

RIYADH: An exercise aimed at raising readiness to confront environmental emergencies or oil spill incidents kicked off on the Tabuk coast on Tuesday.

The two-day exercise, called “Response 14,” is part of the Kingdom’s plan to combat pollution of the marine environment with oil and other harmful substances, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The exercise is being supervised by the National Center for Environmental Compliance and is taking place in cooperation with 39 governmental and private agencies.

The center’s official spokesman, Saad Al-Matrafi, revealed that the readiness of each participating agency increased every time such an exercise was held.


He added that there was a noticeable development in the technology being used by the various participating agencies as well as the skills of their employees, as a result of such exercises.


He explained that the exercise is being carried out in several stages in which satellites and advanced simulation programs are used.


Participants will learn how to deal with simulated scenarios of pollution spreading in the middle of terroristal waters and its impact extending to coasts and marine habitats.


They will also learn how to contain this pollution and reduce its negative effects on the marine environment and the region’s economy.


Al-Matrafi said the national plan to combat oil spills and harmful substances has succeeded in testing its ability to contain a spill of 75,000 barrels, with a high response rate not exceeding 50 minutes, through the largest fleet of naval units designated for this purpose, in addition to specialist aircraft.


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