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State to have mock exercise to prepare for earthquake today
A State-level mock exercise on an earthquake scenario will be conducted on the occasion of International Day for Disaster Reduction on Friday.
The State’s Disaster Management Department in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India will be conducting the State-level mock exercise to discuss which a table-top exercise was held through video conferencing involving all the districts of Uttarakhand on Thursday.
The officials said that taking stock of the earthquake vulnerability of the region and based on the lessons learnt during previous earthquakes in Uttarakhand, the mock exercise was scheduled by the Disaster Management department.
Leading the table top exercise, NDMA expert Major General VK Datta (Retd) interacted with the officials of different Districts of Uttarakhand and gave them instructions regarding the mock exercise. He said that this is going to be the fifth State level mock exercise with the disaster management department.
It could be seen as an achievement for Uttarakhand which has now become one of the major States, to actively conduct such mock trainings with the support of NDMA from time to time. He emphasised on the aspect of sensitisation of community as they are the first responders at the time of emergency.
The officials from various agencies, such as fire service, forest department, army, health department, police, national and state Disaster Response Forces and others were among those attending the table top exercise on Thursday.
During the table top meeting, the state disaster management secretary Amit Singh Negi, said that these mock exercises plays a very significant role in analysing, having fair understanding about the weak points, issues and challenges that one goes through during any crisis and that basically helps in strengthening the capacity, coordination and preparedness at the time of any disaster.
Officials said that the mock exercise on October 13 is envisaged to be poart of a learning process and is aimed at assessing the efficacy of integrating the preparedness and response mechanisms of the Disaster Management department and the other linear departments with those of the district administration and ensuring effective coordination, mobilisation of resources and response during any emergency situation.
They said that the significance of the mock exercise for an earthquake scenario can be guaged from the fact that Uttarakhand falls under seismic vulnerability zones IV and V, having not witnessed a major earthquake since the 1803 Garhwal earthquake.
Scientists have been warning of a major turmoil in the near future. Such an earthquake would be a severe setback for growth and development in the State. It therefore becomes imperative for the state to gear up its preparations for facing this catastrophe. The exercise will be conducted simultaneously at five locations, across all 13 districts.
After the conduct of mock exercise on Friday, a post-exercise analysis will be carried out by the NDMA, in which all the officials concerned will participate and discuss the shortcomings and ways to address them. Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre executive director Piyoosh Rautela, disaster management under secretary Pradeep Kumar Shukla and subject experts were also among those present in the meeting.
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