The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have conducted a disaster response exercise in association with United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and a number of government and non-government organisations at Srifa village in South Lebanon.
The two-day exercise, United Beacon was aimed at improving coordination between all agencies to respond to an unexpected natural disaster.
Operation United Beacon was based on a simulated, fictitious earthquake, which measured six on the Richter scale, and resulted in several casualties in southern Lebanon.
Coordinated immediate-response activities carried out included: the deployment of emergency response teams by LAF and UNIFIL, aerial and ground reconnaissance of the affected area, search, rescue and relief activities including first aid for victims, medical evacuation by ground and air transportation, deployment of firefighting and engineer assets for clearing debris and explosive ordnance disposal.
A total of 350 soldiers, 70 vehicles and one helicopter from the LAF and 350 soldiers, 70 vehicles and two helicopters from UNIFIL paricipated in the exercise.