Gangtok, 13 Oct [IPR]:
On the occasion of International Risk Reduction Day, Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) in collaboration with line departments and other stakeholders organized earthquake mock drill/exercise in Gangtok. While doing mock exercise a scenario was created wherein a magnitude 6.9 Richter scale earthquake occurred in Gangtok and adjoining areas and caused considerable damage with several injuries and deaths.
The objectives of the drill were to understand the level of preparedness of the stakeholders in effectively and efficiently managing mass casualty situation.
There were nine different locations where the scenario for earthquake response was set up: building collapse of Kisan bazaar at the junction of Lall bazaar area, fire breakout at MG Marg, Mass evacuation at Deorali Girls Senior Secondary School, West Point Senior Secondary School, Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School, landslide and road blockage and accident at Chandmari, traffic jam and stampede at Deorali taxi stand, Relief Camp at MLA hostel complex and STNM Hospital where injured people were treated.
Further, in the scenario, Manan Kendra Secretariat was also evacuated with the participation of the Chief Secretary, AK Srivastava, Additional Chief Secretary, State Relief Commissioner, heads of various department, officers and staffs.
The exercise saw active participation of Fire and Emergency Service, Sikkim Police, Health department, PHE department, Animal Husbandry department, Power department, Forest Department, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Civil Defence along with volunteer organization namely Nehru Yuva Kendra, Helping Hands, Satya Sai Sewa Samiti and Sikkim Association of Mountaineers.
Later in the afternoon, a debriefing session on the earthquake mock drill was also held with the observers who were stationed in various locations during the time of drill. The observers put forth their observation to SSDMA.
While addressing the debriefing session on the earthquake mock drill, State Relief Commissioner, T Tashi said that these drill efforts were made to ensure effective participation of local bodies to deal with any eventuality and to take preventive measures in case of an earthquake.
"This exercise would go a long way in awakening the people as to how to respond during the time of natural calamities and also the administration for initiating measures for mitigation of the disaster," said the State Relief Commissioner.