In natural ??? disasters like earthquakes and flooding, one of the most urgent needs is?
In natural ??? disasters like earthquakes and flooding, one of the most urgent needs is usually for drinking water. Several types of mobile purification units have been developed in the past to meet these needs, but there has always been the problem of distributing the water. Now a new unit, designed for the League of Red Cross Societies, has found the solution. It was demonstrated in Paris on Saturday (14 May).
SYNOPSIS: The River Seine -- which runs through Paris -- is not well known for its purity. So it seemed a good place to demonstrate the new unit. The purification equipment has been installed in a number of caravans, for mobility is an essential factor. Idealy, a caravan is simply parked beside the water source and a pipe is lowered in. A diesel generator pumps the unclean water up into the purification unit for treatment, while a series of checks are made to monitor the equipment to ensure it's functioning properly and no impurities are passing through. Similar units have already been used successfully in a number of places throughout the world.
One such occasion was in Italy's Friuli region, which was struck by repeated earth tremors in 1976. Units like the one on show in Paris were able to provide a constant source of pure water when all the natural resources had been ruptured or contaminated. There is also equipment on board the caravan which adds powdered milk to the water before it is packaged in small plastic bags. The Red cross say the equipment is able to produce 3,600 one-litre bags every hour.