Massive mock drill conducted in Delhi (Lead)

February 15th, 2012 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Delhi Wednesday witnessed one of India’s biggest coordinated mock drills, simulating a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hitting the capital, to check the level of preparedness of authorities and educate people on the do’s and don’ts.

Performed in 399 building structures, including 218 schools and 24 hospitals, the drill witnessed the participation of over 40,000 common people and 15,000 government officials.

The mega mock drill was organised by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority and National Disaster Management Authority.

“This is country’s first drill which has been organised on such a large scale. We organised it really well. In fact, officials from Bihar Disaster Management Authority were also present to take lessons from this drill where over 40,000 people took part,” said Kuldeep Singh Gangar, a top official with DDMA.

While people acted as victims, government officials were engaged in “rescue operations”.

A total 276 people were shown dead and 828 as seriously injured in the exercise.

“This exercise was very useful for common man like me. We got to know what to do in a devastating earthquake,” said Nirmal Mishra who participated in the drill.

While six busy Metro stations were also roped in, the drill was also conducted at Tihar Jail, one of south Asia’s largest prison.

The drill, which lasted around 30 minutes between 11.30 a.m. and 12 noon, hit thousands of Metro commuters and road commuters, as road traffic was also diverted.

While many Metro commuters admitted they knew about the temporary stoppage of services due to the drill, others complained they had no clue that trains would be halted and stations closed down for half an hour.

The drill involved various kind of scenarios across Delhi covering more than 1,000 sites including bridges, flyovers, malls, schools and other buildings as a number of simulated situations like collapse of flyovers, crack in metro pillars, collapse of residential buildings were created.

Officials from all the important emergency support functionary departments like police, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC), the health department, Delhi Jal Board and food and civil supplies coordinated with senior officials of all the nine districts in the capital.

–Indo-Asian News Servive

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