Full-Scale Exercise: Flood case caused by torrent

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia

Target audience:

  • Representatives from stakeholders in Crisis Management System from North Macedonia (firefighters, police officers, ambulance personnel, government employees, military personnel, and private industry emergency responders)
  • Trainers of first responders from Directorate for Protection and Rescue from North Macedonia
  • Training of trainers from Directorate for Protection and Rescue and other stakeholders in Crisis Management System from North Macedonia


  • To identify limitations and safely and effectively use appropriate water rescue equipment, whilst operating near or in moving water appropriate to the limits of a non-buoyant rescuer
  • Demonstrate water rescue scene management and dynamic assessment of risk
  • Identify and apply the role of the First Responder within the incident management structure
  • Identify and use appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • Identify and understand flood hazard mitigation measures

Full-Scale Exercise

During this Exercise, there will be simulated different scenarios and incidents in the Skopje torrent’s area and all participants will use disaster response procedures in (Crisis Management System) CMS. Also, during the training, existing procedures will be evaluated and if it is needed will be updated or developed new one. COncORDE emergency management platform will be used for incident management during the full-scale exercise. In this regard, the system will show the map of Skopje valley.

In order participants to understand the risk presented by natural disasters and how to apply the best methods of prevention, assessment and mitigation in preparation phase of full-scale exercise, the Stop Disasters Simulation game1 developed by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) will be used. Each scenario can be experienced at different levels of difficulty (easy, medium, hard).

Narrative of the emergency scenario (The hypothetical storyline)

During the winter 2020/21, a large amount of snow fell on the mountains around the Skopje valley (Shara mountain, Bistra and Skopska Crna Gora mountain). In the spring 2021 (April) the rise of the temperature and torrential rainfall caused a sudden melting of the snow which caused an increased inflow into the rivers. The several-day increased inflow of the river Vardar, Treska and Lepenec and 530 cubic meters of water flowed out of the main discharge tunnel at the Matka hydropower plant, and over 50 cubic meters of water per second flooded the dam’s walls caused floods in the Skopje valley. The water level of some of the areas affected reached a height of 1.5 meters. The water disaster caused demolished of 850 houses in Skopje, 123 buildings under water, 2,355 homeless citizens, nearly 3,500 hectares of fertile land flooded and 4 human casualties. In order to deal with flood and to rescue affected population first responders’ teams from Protection and rescue Directorate, Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia and other crisis management stakeholders institutions are engaged.

One first responder team will use their available equipment and will organize search and rescue operations in the river Vardar and rescue people form the river. Other first responder team will organize extracting the water from the houses flooded by the river Vardar in Skopje. During the exercise, all first responders’ teams will test their equipment and technologies.

1 https://www.stopdisastersgame.org/