Disaster scenarios guidance

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

It may sound ridiculous, but what if there was an earthquake in the centre of Albany?

Or a cruise ship struck a reef off Middleton Beach and left an oil slick streaming into Princess Royal Harbour?

These are just some of the hazard scenarios that feature in a recent risk assessment report conducted by the Great Southern District Emergency Management Committee.

The 68-page document covers six scenarios, created following a series of workshops with experts in the region, which pose a variety of risks, some classed as catastrophic, to Great Southern residents.

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The aim of the report was to provide guidance for future resource distribution relating to emergency situations.

The earthquake scenario, developed by Geoscience Australia, postulates a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in the heart of Albany causing severe damage throughout the region.

“Older buildings do not withstand the earthquake and a number of fatalities occur,” the report states.

“Albany hospital, airport and port silo structures are damaged.

“Asbestos-lined water pipes are impacted along with the York Street pump station.”

Given a one per cent chance of occurrence, the marine transport emergency service is another frightening prospect.

A cruise ship with 4800 people aboard strikes reef a few kilometres off shore.

“The harbour master has ordered the ship to be abandoned and most passengers and crew have disembarked the vessel,” the report states.

“The harbour master has reported approximately 150 passengers and crew are unaccounted for, with a number of passengers on the life boats with serious injuries requiring immediate medical attention.”

Recreational boat users report bodies floating in the water and a black oil slick leaking from the boat and heading towards Middleton Beach and the harbour.

The other scenarios include an animal and plant biosecurity scenario involving foot and mouth disease spreading from a farm in Narrikup, a dual bushfire in Denmark and Little Grove and flooding throughout the Great Southern.

A preliminary treatment discussion was held in November last year in Albany.

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