BALI is like a “disaster supermarket”, says Dr Len Notaras, executive director of Australia’s National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC). The centre works closely with the Bali Disaster Centre to co-ordinate responses in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
Dr Notaras says the two centres have similar protocols in place to ensure that if a disaster does occur, “we’re well co-ordinated and expedient in the response – and indeed, our command and control mechanisms along with communications are among best in the world”.
Bali and its four million residents lie so close to the collision zone between the Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates, a tsunami could hit the island half an hour after an earthquake.
“You can find whatever disaster you want on the shelf” in Bali, Dr Notaras said.
Take your pick from: floods, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, earthquakes and tidal waves.
The Northern Territory’s Health Minister Robyn Lambley says the Bali Disaster Centre is a world leader with its centralised system of disaster response.
“We’re on alert, ready and available to assist Bali in any way we can,” she told reporters in Denpasar on Wednesday.
“We have an enormous number of Australians coming here each year … so we’ve got a vested interest in ensuring Australian tourists are safe when they get here.”
As heads of state from around the world gather in Bali this week for the APEC summit, the disaster management teams are already in place in case anything goes wrong…
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