Rayong community runs emergency evacuation drill

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Residents of the town closest to Rayong’s IRPC Plc petroleum complex practiced evacuation procedures and learned the characteristic of chemical threats facing their community during an accident.

Worawit Suphchokchai, mayor of Song Pheenong, presided over the Aug. 6 emergency drill in Rayong’s Muang District with Sayan Srisawat, head of Rayong’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. Local residents joined Sawang Pornsakul Foundation volunteers, officials from four area communities and representatives from IRPC for the exercise.

Residents and rescue workers practice emergency drills in Song Pheenong, Rayong.Residents and rescue workers practice emergency drills in Song Pheenong, Rayong.

Located closest to the integrated oil refining and production plant, Song Pheenong must be on constant alert for accidents that could spread fire or chemical gases into neighboring homes, Worawit said.

The day’s main event was a simulated chlorine gas leak. Residents were taught to recognize the threat, in this case a while cloud of chemical gas, and choose the appropriate evacuation route. Company and DPMD staffers played their parts in notifying the government of the accident and responding to the leak.

The goals for citizens were to avoid panic, move in the same direction, understand the situation and provide help and communication with others.

The remainder of the day was devoted to educating residents about various chemical threats and their effects and symptoms. Worawit said the most-important part of an emergency-response plan is to properly identify what the threat was.

If gases are flammable, residents need to be aware of explosion and fire risks. If the leaks are chemical, they need to be able to determine what chemical is in play, including natural gas, chlorine or other stances. Officials informed residents about symptoms, such as burning skin, sneezing, throat and eye irritation, and paralysis.