Disaster management body to conduct mock earthquake drills in North India

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will conduct mock drills on February 15, 2013 in North India to generate awareness among people about earthquakes. Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh will be involved in the mock drills.

This was informed during a meeting of NDMA organised under the 'Mw 8 Mandi Earthquake Scenario: Multi-State Exercise and Awareness Campaign' on Friday.

The Indian Army will be requested to send teams of observers to various venues to conduct independent third party audit of the mock drills. A media campaign will also be launched for the purpose.

NDMA officials said that eminent personalities from the entertainment industry and sports fraternity will be associated with the drills and campaigns.

The ground work for the forthcoming mock drills was initiated nearly six months ago during a series of meetings held between Shashidhar Reddy, the vice-chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, and the chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and administrator of Chandigarh.

It was also informed at the meeting that a scenario had been developed by the NDMA and scientific experts in the field of earthquake engineering from IIT-Bombay and IIT-Madras for hypothetical earthquake of magnitude 8 with its epicentre at Sundernagar in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. The impact and consequent damages was predicted for the states and Chandigarh. NDMA, along with the states of Haryana, Himachal, Punjab and UT had been working on enhancing the capacity of people of these territories in managing various disasters.

UT Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin, senior army officers, officials from Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh governments and experts from NDMA attended the meeting.

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