A State-level mock exercise on earthquake was conducted by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Haryana today for assessing the preparedness and response mechanism of the State Government in a disaster situation. The exercise was conducted in collaboration with the Haryana State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
The exercise simulated an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale with its epicentre at West of Gurugram along the Jaipur Ridge and the Sohna Fault line.
The simulation exercise was conducted simultaneously at 122 select locations, including hospitals, shopping malls, schools, high-rise residential buildings and major hazardous units, spread across all 22 districts to assess and improve the administrations capacity in mobilising resources and reaching out to the affected communities swiftly.
The state-wide exercise started with a siren indicating the occurrence of tremors. Everybody ducked under the tables while covering their heads. Once the tremors stopped, evacuation drills were conducted. Soon afterwards, the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) was 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 preliminary first aid.
After the drill a post-exercise analysis was carried out by NDMA, in which all concerned officials took part. Independent observers from Army shared their feedback and suggested ways to further streamline response mechanisms.
Todays exercise was preceded by an orientation conference on December 6, 2017, followed by a coordination Conference on December 19, 2107 and a tabletop exercise conducted yesterday through videoconferencing with all districts from the State Capital. These preparatory meetings were conducted to ensure the smooth facilitation of the exercise.
Haryana falls in the seismic zone IV, III, & II. Moreover, tremors have been felt in the State whenever there is an earthquake in the Himalayan foothills due to its proximity to the hill States. Moreover, the State has witnessed rapid industrial-residential urbanisation in the recent past. An 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.
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