Mauritius: The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (NDRRMC) organised, yesterday, a National Flood Table Top Exercise (TTX), at the Headquarters of the NDRRMC in Port Louis.
This initiative follows the Special Council meeting held on 30 October 2023 under the chairmanship of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management, Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo, whereby the Council was apprised that a national flood TTX would be held in November 2023 to test the draft Flood Response and Evacuation Plan for City Centre of Port Louis.
A Simulation Exercise ensued at the TTX to test the Flood Response and Evacuation Plan for the City Centre of Port Louis and enable all concerned stakeholders to better understand their roles, responsibilities and actions for saving and minimising the loss of human lives. In addition, any gaps and scope for improvements were subsequently considered to enhance the Plan.
The NDRRMC, in collaboration with the Disaster Response Unit of the Special Mobile Force, Mauritius Fire and Rescue Services and the National Coast Guard, is responsible for the planning and preparation of the exercise.
The planning team met on four occasions, namely on: 29 August, 12 September, 07 November and 22 November 2023, to finalise scenario details and credible injects for making the exercise as realistic as possible as such a situation would have a national bearing and require an all-inclusive and whole-of-government approach.
Flood Response and Evacuation Plan
Following a study carried out by the Land Drainage Authority on the impact of flooding in the City Centre of Port Louis, a Technical Committee, under the lead of the NDRRMC, was assigned the responsibility of developing an Evacuation Plan for the City Centre of Port Louis.
Based upon the assessment made on the ground, the development of the Plan rests on principles such as Vertical evacuation, Traffic diversion with a focus on reducing traffic flow towards Port Louis, Access to critical services such as Hospitals, Line Barracks and Government House, amongst others have to be maintained and; Actions to be taken by nearly 43 stakeholders to ensure public safety, save and protect life.
The draft Flood Response and Evacuation Plan for the City Centre of Port Louis has been developed taking into consideration several factors, notably a 100-year return period; the Digital Elevation Model 2019; detailed topographical surveys and capacity assessment of existing main drainage infrastructure; Rainfall data for flood events; Climate Change Data; and Flood mark surveys.