Essex prepares for terror influx

ESSEX could bear the brunt of 20,000 people an hour fleeing London should there be a dirty bomb attack, the House of Lords was told last night.Lord Hanningfield, the Leader of the county council, disclosed: "No provision and no plans have been made for that.

By Graham Dines

ESSEX could bear the brunt of 20,000 people an hour fleeing London should there be a dirty bomb attack, the House of Lords was told last night.

Lord Hanningfield, the Leader of the county council, disclosed: "No provision and no plans have been made for that."

The Tory peer called for more Government resources for councils' emergency planning services. "And we do need more information and more knowledge about what might happen."


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He was responding to a statement from Home Office minister Lord Falconer who said people should not follow the example of many Americans in stockpiling food and water against the possibility of a major terrorist attack.

He stressed that people should be "alert but not alarmed.".

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He told peers: "The Government does not currently issue in advance detailed guidance to the public on measures they might take if they became victims of a chemical or a biological attack.

"The response to chemical or biological incidents, accidental or otherwise, depends upon a number of factors.

"The emergency services are best placed to decide the appropriate response, taking into account the relevant factors."

Any information that was useful to the public' would be put on a special Government website.

The Government and emergency services would make available immediate information and advice in the event of a discernible threat or an actual attack in the UK.

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