Mock disaster drill held in Delhi, will show loopholes: NDMA

The mega mock drill on disaster preparedness in the national capital Wednesday is aimed at creating awareness and finding loopholes, says National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice chairman M. Shashidhar Reddy.

Talking to IANS after releasing guidelines for communication systems during disasters, Reddy said this was the first time a drill was being held on such a large scale. Delhi has a population of over 16 million.

“It is first time that a mock drill is being organised on such a large scale. Locations have been identified in all districts, which include places like cinema halls, malls, Metro stations and schools,” Reddy said.

“The aim is firstly to create public awareness, and we will be able to see how well we are prepared and will be able to identify the gaps,” he said. Starting around 11.30 a.m. Wednesday, a mega mock drill was conducted by NDMA and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) across the city.

Stimulated situations were created at schools, colleges, Metro rail network, malls, markets, hospitals and road transport, presuming that the city has been hit by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on the Delhi-Moradabad fault line with its epicentre 275 km from Delhi.  

It was conducted across 218 government-run and 24 private schools, 31 colleges, 11 government-run and 11 private hospitals, four cinema halls, 19 resident welfare associations, 13 government office buildings, eight market/trade associations and two petrol pumps.

Reddy said localised drills have been held in the past as well, and so far the authority has organised nearly 400 mock drills across the country. 

“On local levels, more than 400 mock drills have been organised, state governments also organise such drills,” he said. The authority is planning a special mock drill for the earthquake prone northeastern states, he added. 

Reddy also announced that a larger drill would be held later, taking Karnal in Haryana as the epicentre of another presumed  earthquake.  Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot, who was present at the event, said the drill would help create awareness among people. 

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