National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the State Governments will conduct a Mock Exercise on earthquake preparedness on Friday (June 28, 2019). The exercise aims to improve preparedness and response mechanisms of the local administration in the event of an earthquake. It will cover Delhi (all 11 districts), Haryana (4 districts – Jhajjhar, Faridabad, Gurugram and Sonipat ) and Uttar Pradesh (3 districts – Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Meerut).
In the run-up to this Mock Exercise, Coordination and Orientation Conferences have been conducted with the States of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana with participation of all stakeholders of States and concerned districts. Prior to the final exercise, a day-long Table Top Exercise is being conducted with all the participants to ensure the smooth facilitation of the exercise. Senior officials from all stakeholder departments such as police, health, education, firefighting, Civil Defense, Public Relations, transport attended these preparatory meetings besides representatives of Army, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)/ Central Police Organisation (CPO).
These exercises are dealing with simulated scenarios of earthquakes and consequent secondary disasters wherein the participants are being trained on key aspects of disaster management such as the formation of Incident Response Teams, activation of Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs), coordination among various participating agencies, rescue and evacuation besides medical preparedness.
The entire National Capital Region falls either in seismic Zone IV or Zone III and is, therefore, highly vulnerable. This exercise will help in filling gaps, ensuring better communication and improving coordination among various stakeholder agencies. It will also generate awareness among the local population who need to be conscious of vulnerability of the NCR.
Under the Centre’s 100-day Action Plan, several Mock Exercises on different disasters have been planned across the country. This is the first exercise from that series, while an exercise is underway ahead of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, other exercises include a flood and an earthquake preparedness exercise in July in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, respectively. These exercises culminate into a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise in Tamil Nadu in August.