The Civil Protection Department has received specialised training should an earthquake or tsunami hit Malta, Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said on Tuesday.
A day after a devastating earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, Camilleri was replying to a parliamentary question about whether Malta is prepared should Malta face a damaging earthquake.
CPD officers received training abroad several times in the past 13 years with the most recent exercise taking place last year, Camilleri said.
Other training exercises overseas took place in 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2019, he said.
The CPD also ran an exercise on how to respond should a tsunami hit Malta in Marsaxlokk, Camilleri said.
The October 2021 simulation included an evacuation simulation.
The 32-strong rescue team sent to Turkey following a devastating series of earthquakes participated in these drills, he said.
The team has already started its mission, looking for survivors in a hotel which collapsed in Malatya. A total of 120 are missing in the site but the Maltese rescuers are in contact with at least eight people buried under the debris.
“They will return better prepared,” Camilleri said, in response to the question put forward by PN MP Graziella Galea.
The University of Malta constantly monitors Malta’s seismology and passes on information to the CPD, the minister said. The ministry will also be meeting the Malta Chamber of Geologists soon, with the aim of increased cooperation, he said.
Tremors felt in Malta in recent weeks have caused concern that a stronger and more destructive quake could hit Malta, despite experts saying there was no indication of this.
CPD coordinating donations for victims
Camilleri said CPD is also coordinating donation of supplies to the victims at its headquarters in Ħal-Far and Xewkija.
While carriers have been identified to deliver the supplies to Turkey, a supplier to Syria has not yet been found, he said.
The Turkish embassy in Malta is also coordinating humanitarian donations.
Warm clothing items such as raincoats, boots, sweaters, gloves, and scarves for both children and adults are just some of the clothing items people can donate to the embassy in Malta.
Other items, such as tents, beds, blankets, canned food, diapers, and baby formulas can be donated to the embassy at 35, Sir Luigi Preziosi Square, Floriana.
The local Voluntary Organisation, SOS Malta has also launched an emergency appeal and is calling for donations to support earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria.
People can donate here or via SMS donations: 5061 6125 for €4.66 or 5061 9226 for €11.65.