Mega Mock Drill on Earthquake

Of all the natural disasters, earthquakes are the worst and cause severe all-round damage, primarily due to their unpredictability. About 58 % of India’s land mass is vulnerable from moderate to severe seismic hazards. Even though earthquakes cannot be predicted, their impact on life and property can be considerably reduced by better preparedness and awareness. Recognizing this, NDMA has advocated for scientific & technical interventions and effective administration to reduce their impact. Towards this, NDMA had planned series of mock drills to generate greater public awareness about the vulnerability to disasters with specific emphasis on earthquakes and steps to be taken by people to save themselves, their families and the community and properties in the event of an earthquake. One such mega mock Drill was conducted in Delhi on the 15th of February, 2012 .

In continuation of similar earthquake preparedness campaign, a scenario building exercise to help prepare the North western region of India has been created, wherein a hypothetical earthquake of Mw 8.0 with its epicentre near Mandi in Himachal Pradesh is being depicted. Occurance of such an earthquake would expose nearly 1.14 crore people in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana & UT Chandigarh and cause extensive damage to life, habitat and critical infrastructure like highways, railways, reservoirs, telecommunication and power network. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in association with state administration of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana & UT Chandigarh is conducting a  Mega Mock Drill  in the tri-cities of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, and Shimla on 13th February 2013. This Mega Mock Drill is designed to test the system capabilities for an effective coordinated response to an earthquake having impact on multiple States. The drill will be conducted at 60 different locations simultaneously, spread over Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Shimla for which experts from NDMA have been extending all prepratory support. Rupees thirty lakhs have been provided to the each of the three States and UT of Chandigarh by NDMA for running the campaign.

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Preparatory meetings starting with June 2012 for this Mega Mock Drill have already been held by Shri M.Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chairman, NDMA, Members and Senior Officers of NDMA with Shri Shivraj V Patil, Governor of Punjab/Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, Shri Prakash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab, Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana, Professor Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and Senior Officers of the three States and UT Chandigarh. The last such meeting was held on 9th January, 2013 at Chandigarh

A final coordination meeting chaired by Shri V.K.Duggal, Member, NDMA was conducted today which was attended by Shri H.K.Gupta, Member and Shri K.M.Singh, Member, NDMA and senior officers of the three States and UT Chandigarh. Shri Duggal emphasised the need of immediate setting up of a Central Coordination Centre at Chandigarh and Control Room at Shimla .UT Chandigarh will be providing infrastructure support for the Central Coordination Centre at Chandigarh and Government of Himachal Pradesh for the Control Room at Shimla. These control rooms shall be set up on 10th February 2013 . All ESF functionaries alongwith Civil Defence volunteers, Key State/ Central Govt departments independent observers from defence will participate in the Mega Mock Exercise.30 Teams (10 teams each from Bhatinda, NOIDA and Gandhi Nagar NDRF Bns.) will participate in 30 locations of Mega Mock Drill Exercises. Hon’ble Members and support officers from NDMA will facilitate and coordinate the event.

According to the scenario, it is expected that all communication channels will collapse in the wake of the earthquake. The only possible communication mode will be wireless communication . It was, therefore, decided that the locations selected for Mega Mock Drill will be such that they are connected through wireless communication with the Central Co-ordination Centre and Control Rooms respectively, including Delhi.

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A Final hot wash will be conducted at Chandigarh on 14th february 13,for all 4 Distt.s Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula and Simla.

Media briefing will be done in 2 stages: (i) on 12th Feb 2013 afternoon before the Event and (ii) on 13th February 2013 after the Mock Drill exercise.

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Raja Raja Cholan
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Trainer & Mentor for aspirants preparing for civil service examination

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