Greek official presents contingency plan for tackling emergencies

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-20 04:46:07|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ATHENS, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- A Greek official on Wednesday outlined here plans for tackling emergencies, including the activation of a volcano.

During a press briefing, General Secretary of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias said that "The country should be shielded against any natural disaster, against any danger. In this context we proceeded with the drafting of this plan so that each one of us knows what they should do."

Hardalias explained that the key goal of the planning was to clearly distribute responsibilities among various agencies and pave the ground for coordinated actions to prevent and address specific emergencies.

Meanwhile, he assured that Santorini, a world-famous volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, is "exceptionally safe" and is a beautiful tourism destination. "There is no problem for Santorini, there is no problem for any place," he said.

He strongly dismissed local media reports in recent weeks that the planning may have been the result of concern that Greek authorities may need to deal soon with an emergency, in particular on Santorini.

There is no indication that the volcano will be activated in the near future, he stressed, citing scientists who have been monitoring activity in the area for years.

The plan concerning response to possible volcanic activity at Santorini has the code name "Talos" a giant bronze man in ancient Greek mythology, the official noted.

Another plan drafted to address earthquakes was given the code name "Enceladus", after one of the giants in ancient Greek mythology, who was believed to cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, Hardalias explained.

A third plan drafted to tackle major industrial accidents has the code name "Heraclitus" after the ancient Greek philosopher.

Greece is a seismic prone country which had suffered from catastrophic earthquakes often in recent history. Experts are monitoring seismic activity constantly.

Santorini was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history about 3,600 years ago. Smaller eruptions have been recorded in modern history, with the most recent in 1950.