Emergency chief: Latvia should prepare for future natural disasters

After the devastating storm in Latvia this week, it is lucky that there were not many victims, the chief of State Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) Liene Cipule told Latvian Radio on August 10. 

The devastating storm this week was unprecedented in Latvia, and it is good that there were no more victims, “because every fragment, every tree can potentially pose a threat to life,” Cipule said.

She also said that the man who had died during the storm was a father of an NMPD employee. “A very emotional case for the service, for our employee,” Cipule said.

Overall, on Monday, August 7, NMPD executed nearly 1,000 calls, and problems were caused not only by wind and rain but also by electricity disruptions. In such cases, however, an action plan has been established. If electricity rupture is local, NMPD employees will switch to radio communications. But if the rupture is longer, electricity generators are also in readiness.

Although natural cataclysms are not at the highest level of NMPD risk assessment, Cipule acknowledged that strengthening preparedness for such challenges is certainly the future of the service.

It should be noted that the healthcare system is preparing most for future potential pandemics.

"Of course, situations that can involve a lot of victims, including these kinds of events, have a special algorithm and special arrangements as we prepare for it. And increasingly, we are talking about this readiness. [..] We are also talking about military, radioactivity impact cases, " explained Cipule.

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