Mock earthquake drill in city on February 13

After 18 months of preparations, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has announced to undertake a mega tri-city earthquake mock drill, of magnitude 8.5 on the Richter scale, simultaneously for Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali and Shimla on February 13.

Secretary of the General Administration Department (GAD), Bharat Khera, said all details for the mock drill have been worked out by the agencies involved at different levels. "Himachal Pradesh falls in Zone V and thus is quite vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural hazards. The exercise will be conducted to simulate an earthquake measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale," he added.

Khera said the disaster management cell of NDMA emergency operation was being set up in the state secretariat and incidence command system would be activated and incidence response teams would respond in the field. "Before commencing of exercise, sirens will be sounded and all concerned will secure themselves and all buildings will be evacuated," he added.

Khera also said that an Information Dissemination Committee, nine other bodies and 36 persons would be a part of the research and evacuation team.

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