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India: NDMA conducts mock exercise in North East on earthquake

Source(s):  National Disaster Management Authority (India) (NDMA)

Simulates disaster scenarios to assess preparedness

NEW DELHI: A multi-State mock exercise on earthquake was conducted by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in three North Eastern States - Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram - today (April 26, 2018) for assessing the preparedness and response mechanism of the State Governments in a disaster situation. The exercise was conducted in collaboration with the respective State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs).

The exercise simulated the 1897 Shillong earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter Scale, which had devastated the entire Shillong plateau and affected the whole of northeast.

The simulation exercise was conducted simultaneously in all districts across the three States at select locations, including hospitals, shopping malls, schools and high-rise residential buildings to assess and improve the administration’s capacity in mobilising resources and reaching out to the affected communities swiftly.

The exercise started with sirens indicating the occurrence of tremors. Everybody ducked under the tables while covering their heads. Once the tremors stopped, evacuation drills were conducted. Soon afterwards, State Emergency Operation Centres (SEOCs) were activated.

Simultaneously, EOCs at the districts also got activated, assessed the damage, formed rescue teams under Incident Commanders and dispatched them to the respective locations. Rescue drills were conducted in coordination with various agencies, such as Traffic control, Fire Fighting department, Ambulances, Police and Civil Defence. People buried under the rubble were rescued and sent to hospitals after administering first aid and triage.

Afterwards, NDMA experts carried out post-exercise analyses, wherein independent observers from the Army shared their feedback and suggested ways to further streamline response mechanisms.

"Mock exercises strengthen the capacity and response mechanisms of all stakeholders. These also help improve coordination among various agencies, which is the key to a successful post-disaster response," said Lt. Gen. N.C. Marwah (Retd.), Member, NDMA. 

Today’s exercise was preceded by orientation-cum-coordination conferences and tabletop exercises in all the participating States to ensure the smooth facilitation of the exercise.

This exercise is significant as the entire North East is located in the seismic zone V. n earthquake can cause major damage in terms of lives and infrastructure. This mock drill will ensure better response in the event of a disaster to reduce loss of lives. It will also generate awareness among the local population who are the first responders in case of any disaster. 

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  • Publication date 26 Apr 2018

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