NDMA conducts mock exercise on earthquake in Haryana

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Simulates disaster scenarios to assess preparedness and response

NEW DELHI, THURSDAY: A State-level mock exercise on earthquake was conducted by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Haryana on Thursday 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 administration’s capacity in mobilising resources and reaching out to the affected communities swiftly.

The day in action

NDMA expert, who led the exercise, briefed about the proceedings of the day. The 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 Defense. 

People buried under the rubble were rescued and sent to hospitals after administrating 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.

Preparatory meetings

This exercise began with a orientation conference on December 6 and was followed by  a coordination Conference on December 19 and a tabletop exercise on December 20 done 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.