Preparedness 2019: Earthquake Stimulation Exercise Held in Konavle

Lauren Simmonds

Following the recent and tragic earthquake which struck nearby Albania, and which was felt quite strongly across Dalmatia, from Dubrovnik all the way up to Zadar, an exercise called Preparedness 2019 was held in Croatia’s southernmost municipality of Konavle, which lies just south of the City of Dubrovnik and right next to the Montenegrin border.

The fact that Preparedness 2019 was held precisely in Konavle is not only meaningful because of its geographical location, being in the extreme south of the country and close to tiny Montenegro which of course borders Albania, where the epicentre of the recent earthquake was located, but because Dubrovnik and its surrounding areas have always been vulnerable to earthquakes in the past.

A devastating earthquake struck Croatia’s southernmost city way back in 1667, and the entire city was totally destroyed and around 5,000 residents tragically lost their lives.

As Morski writes on the 28th of November, 2019, the Civil Protection Headquarters of Dubrovnik-Neretva County held the staff-command exercise, called Preparedness 2019, in the gorgeous rolling hills of Konavle. The exercise was attended by the chiefs of civil defense staff of the City of Dubrovnik and the municipalities of Župa Dubrovačka (Parish of Dubrovnik) and of course the Konavle Municipality.

The topic of the Preparedness 2019 exercise was the engagement and coordination of civil protection operational forces in the event of an earthquake hitting Dubrovnik-Neretva County once again, and according to the played out scenario of this particular exercise, the wider Dubrovnik area would be affected, with the epicentre of the potential earthquake being in Konavle.

The objective of the exercise was to test the capabilities of the local civil protection operations forces should such an incident occur in the area, to see how their activation is, and to further enhance the forces’ overall familiarisation with the planning documents in the field of civil protection.

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