Nagaland readies for mega earthquake drill
Kohima, April 25 (EMN): The state of Nagaland along with Mizoram and Tripura is ready to conduct a mega drill simultaneously on April 26 simulating a drill based on the Shillong Earthquake of 1897 which hit Meghalaya with a magnitude of 8.7 on the Richter scale.
Dubbed the ‘Nagaland emergency preparedness exercise’ (Nepex), the drill is being organised by the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) to generate publicity among the community and agencies in the state about how to establish mechanisms to effectively respond to emergencies.
The drill is being organised in collaboration with the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) of the state’s eleven districts, governmental departments, and the Civil Society.
To educate stakeholders, a table-top exercise was taken at the Administrative Training Institute on April 25.
Johnny Rongmei, an official of the NSDMA, informed that the first siren would be sounded at 10 am for three minutes from the Police Headquarters and at the Secretariat junction by the Fire & Emergency Services.
A press release from the NSDMA on Wednesday also informed that the following churches in Kohima are to ring their church bells for three minutes and a second bell after two minutes at 10:00 am to announce the beginning of the drill: the Cathedral, Chakhesang Baptist Church Kitsubozou, Christian Revival Church Kohima Village, Christ King Parish, Peraciezie Baptist Church, Ao Baptist Arogo Paramedical, St. Francis De Sales Parish (CPC) and the NBCC.
Following the first siren, he said, immediately everyone will have to respond with the drop-hold-and-cover, and hold the position until the siren sounds for the second time. Simultaneously, at the second siren, personnel are to report to the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) and staging area. The operations, planning, and logistics sections along with unit leaders and resources are to report to the staging area, at which the staging area’s manager will record all available resources namely personnel and equipments.
Staging areas have been identified at various locations at Kohima village while the relief area will be at Kohima College, Mezhür Higher Secondary School, Christ King Higher Secondary School; five residential houses at Choto Bosti; SIRD, the directorate of Employment; Art and Culture; School Education; Youth Resources; Jack and Jill; the Naga Hospital, and at Oking Hospital.
The public have been informed that there might be disruptions in vehicular traffic in the town.
The public is also asked not to panic but to be calm and observe the proceedings with seriousness.
During the table-top exercise stakeholders highlighted the status of their preparations. Director General of Police Rupin Sharma has opined that the exercise should be a ‘real simulated’ drill for which risks and inconveniencies should be worth taking and that it would test how efficient the system is in case an actual emergency occurs.
As Nagaland is seismic zone-V and is vulnerable to earthquakes, landslide, flash-flood, thunderstorm, hail storm, forest fire etc., the state’s government aims to make Nagaland a safer and a resilient society through events like the Nepex drill.
It was informed that all the districts will be sending their reports in the evening, following which an assessment on the ‘disaster’ would be compiled.