Threadbo Landslide 1997

Topics: Rescue, New South Wales, Emergency management Pages: 6 (2002 words) Published: October 6, 2009
Thredbo landslide 1997
The Thredbo landslide shook the small community of Thredbo, both physically in the shaking of the ground during the landslide, and emotionally in the death of 18 skiers. This analysis will give outline of the event that occurred followed by the potential for injury or further disaster. The actual rescue efforts will then be discussed followed by potential for change and an analysis of how it was carried out. Proceeding this the efforts by various government agencies will be discussed in terms of their involvement and what they may have done differently. Incident description

This incident was beyond the resources of the local community and people were coordinated from all over Australia to give relief. These organisations included; NSW Police services, Australian Federal Police, NSW Fire Brigade, ACT Fire Brigade, Victorian Fire and Rescue, Queensland Fire and rescue, Western Australian Fire and rescue, Tasmanian Fire and rescue, NSW Rural fire services, NSW Ambulance service, ACT Ambulance service, NSW State emergency services, Volunteer rescue association, Emergence services ACT, Salvation Army, HMAS Albatross, Mines rescue board NSW, Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, National Parks and Wildlife and Doctors from all over the country. At any one time there were almost 1600 people working on the site at Thredbo. The Thredbo landslide carried with it about 1000 tonnes of earth, rock and trees which slipped rapidly down a steep slope, shearing the Carinya lodge off its foundations and slamming into the Bimadeen lodge. Both multilevel lodges were crushed along with cars in the 400m long landslide. While the landslide was quite small compared to others, having only 1300m of cubic volume, varying from 30 metres to 90 meters in span, it had a devastating effect on the small community of Thredbo. Potential presentation of disaster

It was twenty four hours before a geotechnican declared the site as safe enough for the top level of rubble to be removed and mixed with the subzero temperatures of the Australian ski fields in ski season give potential to a large array of environment injuries. These are the more common injuries expected to be seen in a natural disaster such as this, however there are other factors involved in the potential treatment of patients such as the ones in this scenario. Even after the site was deemed safe by a geotechnician it would be some time before all the necessary resources became available for use. Firstly the site must be stabilised to ensure the rescuers safety from another landslide or other environmental factors such as ensuring their hydration and they are dressed appropriately for the conditions, for example, the Queensland ambulance service was involved in the retrieval of trapped person and they may not be dressed appropriately due to the significantly warmer climate. Other potential hazards which may present in a situation such as this one include families of the trapped victims. These family members may be involved in the rescue operations but because of their emotional attachment may be more incline to partake in risk taking strategies to speed rescue efforts, however there may be potential for injury to the greater masses. Actual Presentation of disaster

The recovery (the process of returning an effected community to its proper level of functioning after an emergency) of victims in the Thredbo disaster was flawed for many reasons. According to Keith Dawe (1999) the local management system in the snowy mountains had no visible management system and there were no guidelines on a regional or state level as to who commands an operation of this magnitude. Unplanned recovery had began immediately after the landslide with minimal safety equipment or procedures put in place and luckily no further injuries came as a result. Reports claim that calls which were received by the fire brigade of NSW immediately implemented a...

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