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Mock drills being conducted to minimise earthquake damage: Officials

Mishra said that the Centre has tried using the new building design code for earthquake risk resilience in which seismic microzonation is done

Earthquake, quake

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
As strong tremors jolted Delhi-NCR and other parts of northern India, officials on Wednesday said awareness programmes and mock drills are some of the measures being taken by the government to minimise earthquake damage.
O P Mishra, the director at the Ministry of Earth Sciences' National Centre for Seismology (NCS), said earthquake risk mitigation awareness programmes are being held and mock drills are also being conducted in order to educate people about the dos and don'ts during an earthquake.
"Earthquake cannot be stopped but its impact can be minimised by various measures. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the nodal agency to conduct the mock drills in coordination with other institutes and such drills are conducted at regular intervals," Mishra told PTI.
Strong tremors jolted large swathes of north India, including Delhi-NCR, on Tuesday night as an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 struck the Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan. Mild tremors were felt in Delhi-NCR again on Wednesday, as an earthquake of 2.7 magnitude hit the region at 4.42 pm, according to NCS.
Mishra said that the Centre has tried using the new building design code for earthquake risk resilience in which seismic microzonation is done.
"If we see the seismic hazard zonation of the country especially from zone 2 to zone 5, the government of India tried to use the new building design code for the earthquake risk resilience. Seismic microzonation has already been completed in many cities, but cities having the population of five lakh and more, microzonation will be done in a detailed way," he said.
He further said the NCS has the mandate of monitoring earthquakes round the clock.
"Sophisticated equipment helps us monitor earthquakes not only in India but also the adjoining regions," he added.
A senior Delhi government official from Southwest district said that a meeting was held on Tuesday, following the directions of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to discuss about the disaster preparedness and that 'Aapda Mitra' volunteers will be appointed who will act as first responders in case of any disaster.
"We have been conducting mock drills to review the preparedness and they will continue. Meanwhile, we will also be appointing 'Aapda Mitra' volunteers who will act as first responders in case of disasters. The volunteers will be common citizens, but they will be trained and given special kits," the government official told PTI.
"We will also assess the buildings, carry out retrofitting and identify staging areas where officials can work," he added.
On Saturday (March 18), Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena had asked the DDMA officials to start work on the retrofitting of all schools, hospitals, police stations and other vulnerable buildings in the city to prevent damage in case of earthquakes.
The DDMA meeting was also attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and it was held in the wake of recent disastrous earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria, as the national capital falls in the "High Damage Risk Zone IV" on India's seismic map.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 22 2023 | 7:21 PM IST

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