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12 October 2011

Durban disaster plan concerns

Durban authorities say they are well into finalising disaster management plans for the city's industrial south basin.

Disaster plans for the area are in the spotlight, after a fire at the Engen refinery yesterday.

While the mid-morning fire was extinguished quickly, residents who live in close proximity to the plant were alarmed at the thick plumes of black smoke that were released into the air around the refinery.

They were also upset at the lack of direction from authorities on what they should do to remain safe.

The city's Steven Hendrickse says the new plan will tackle this lack of co-ordination with residents when such incidents occur.

"What took place yesterday, for example, was we were aware of the impact from the Disaster Operations Centre. We were very quickly able to look at CCTV footage. But there are multiple role-players and what needs to be tightened up now is the coordination between all these role-players, so that we can get a more effective message [out] much quicker than what unfolded yesterday afternoon," he said.

There is an investigation underway into the cause of the fire.

- East Coast Radio