Iran is among the top 10 disaster prone countries in the world. It is confronted with more than 34 out of 41 types of the world’s known natural disasters.
To address this issue and discuss ways to better respond when a disaster strikes, on 13 November 2017 OCHA and Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization (TDMMO) held a one-day scientific seminar to discuss preparedness and disaster risk reduction and to review the current status of city of Tehran in these areas. The seminar coincided with the devastating earthquake in Kermanshah, which had hit western parts of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 12 November.
The objective of the seminar was to discuss the Tehran readiness situation and Government of Iran projects and initiatives to increase the resilience of the country, and especially city of Tehran. The seminar was attended by representatives of international organizations and Embassies, and was opened by Head of TDMMO - Dr. Ahmad Sadeghi, International Affairs Adviser to Mayor of Tehran - Mr. Amin Arefnia, Head of OCHA - Mr. Amir Hossein Barmaki, and UN Resident Coordinator - Mr. Gary Lewis.
Dr. Ahmad Sadeghi , Head TDMMO, provided a presentation of the overall threats and risks of disasters in Tehran and invited the international private sector to visit Tehran and engage in projects related to improving city resilience. Earthquake expert Dr. Mehdi Zare provided a presentation on the overall disasters portfolio risks and challenges in Iran and indicated that most of the medical services of Tehran are aligned in middle of the city in a vertical line, which would make it very difficult to access during an emergency and roads being blocked.
Also Tehran is constricted on two major fault lines, against all engineering advise and warnings, and had made the city very vulnerable to an earthquake. Advisor to TDMMO Dr. Abbas Ostad Taghizadeh delivered a speech and presented the activities and projects that have been implemented to increase the resilience level of the city and mitigation of the risks, much more need to be done and there are a number of projects in the pipeline specially to have an early warning system for Tehran city.
Mr. Mohammadreza Fakour from Iran Red Crescent also delivered a presentation on their planning, capacity and response measures when facing a natural disaster, as IRCS planned to have enough relief stocks for 1% of the Iranian population in the warehouses around the country. Mr. Lewis provided an overview of UN’s overall security and emergency policy in Iran and briefed on UN’s precautions in case of a natural disaster in Iran, the warden system, use of radio hand sets and overall security system in place to protect staff in case of an emergency.
At end of the event, participants visited the TDMMO’s impressive EOC.
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