New Delhi, Feb. 13 (ANI): With the collaboration and guidance of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) a mega mock drill on earthquake preparedness was conducted by the states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Union Territory of Chandigarh in the tri-cities of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula and at Shimla today.
It is for the first time that such an effort has been made in this region. These areas lie in seismic zones IV and V and therefore their vulnerability to earthquake hazards is a matter of serious concern.
About 900 personnel from the NDRF organized in 30 teams, approx 900 civil defence personnel and 270 independent observers from Army participated in the exercise. The emergency support functionaries like police, health, fire, ambulance, civil defence, power and PWD etc also participated.
During the mock drill the response time, communication, coordination and skills of these emergency support functionaries were observed. The mock drill also resulted in increased awareness of local residents.
Necessity of establishment disaster management plans at various levels; need for state-of-the art emergency operation centres at the state and district levels with redundancy; setting-up and use of wireless communication system for the stakeholders to more effectively deal with an earthquake disaster scenario; recognise capacity of having better road accessibility in case of disaster; identification of requirements of state-of-the-art equipment and systematic inventory of resources, both with govt. and private sector and need for adequate number of ambulances were the key things learnt today during the mock drill.
Greater public awareness and sensitization of people for enhanced preparedness and the need to make younger generation aware of the earthquake hazards and coping mechanism were the other key things learnt today.
The NDMA in close collaboration with other states in seismic zones IV and V is planning to focus on earthquake disaster preparedness over the next two-three years. (ANI)