Shah to flag SCO joint exercise on quake search, rescue

Shah to flag SCO joint exercise on quake search, rescue

Home Minister Amit Shah (PTI Photo)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will inaugurate the four-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) joint exercise on urban earthquake search and rescue here on Monday, the home ministry said.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is hosting the exercise with the aim to rehearse disaster response mechanisms and share knowledge, experience and technology, it said in a statement on Saturday.

This exercise will also provide an opportunity to enhance coordination and cooperation as it involves multi-agency operations, the ministry said.

There will be participants from all eight SCO member countries -- China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The simulation exercise will be conducted as per the methodology and guidelines of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group. 

The exercise will be followed by a meeting between SCO experts and officials of ministries responsible for prevention and elimination of emergency situations.

During the exercise, the role and responsibilities of various organisations and teams, including those involved in emergency medical services, and urban search and rescue at the national and international levels, will be discussed, the statement said.

The main focus of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue (SCOJtEx) will be to test the region's preparedness to activate intergovernmental interaction for an immediate response, it said.

Discussions will be also held on the role of the humanitarian system, UNDAC, emergency response and assessment team, on-site operations coordination centre local emergency management authority and humanitarian civil-military coordination, the statement said.

Representatives from the International Search & Rescue Advisory Group, Asian Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Assistance, Brazil, Mongolia and South Africa have been invited as observers.

The ministry said representatives from embassies of all SCO member nations, heads of state disaster response forces and representatives of other stakeholders shall also be participating in this exercise.