West district completes mock drill exercise on earthquake disaster management

Gyalshing, 10 Oct (IPR): A multi state mock exercise on earthquake in relation to disaster preparedness in West district was conducted in Gyalshing today under the direction of Chief Secretary, Shri A.K. Srivastava. The mock exercise was a simulation scenario of a massive earthquake in North East which had caused massive devastation. The entire mock exercise was conducted at five different locations of Gyalshing which was conducted in order to sensitize and create awareness amongst the public during similar situations.

The District Control Room for the West district was at DAC Conference Hall in Rabdentse where all the heads of line departments were stationed. The mock exercise began at 11:15 am sharp. Prior to the mock exercise, a table top exercise was also conducted at the DAC conference hall on 09 Oct.

During the exercise, a scenario depicting an earthquake magnitude of 8.7 Richter Scale with intensity 8.9 MSK with epicenter at Shillong in Meghalaya was taken into account. An Emergency Control Room was set up at DAC conference hall where in all HoDs reported within 15 minutes of the earthquake striking. Simultaneously, the public were made aware of the mock exercise through siren and PA system of Fire and Police Personnel.

A staging area at Kyongsa ground was set up by 11:45 am wherein 50 personnel from SSB, 30 from IRB, 50 volunteers from NYK, 07 from ITI Gyalshing along with Police personnel and 03 ambulances were stationed. The SSB installed 03 tents immediately at the staging areas after their arrival. The entire DAC was evacuated within 6 minutes after the earthquake and the two injured persons were also rescued and treated at the spot.

A team at the District Control Room had the ADC West as the Responsible Officer, SDM Gyalshing as the Incident Commander, SP West as the Operation Section Chief, DPO Zilla as the Liaison Officer, ADC Development as the Planning Section Chief, Senior A.O. as the Finance Chief, DCSO as the Logistic Chief, SDPO Gyalshing as the Safety, Law and Order Officer, DIO (IPR) as Information and Media Officer. The Staging Area was headed by SDM Yuksam along with CDPO and Senior Welfare Officer as in charge of the Relief Section. The staging area also had a medical officer and health staffs to give the necessary aid.

During the mock exercise, various scenarios were depicted wherein a fallen tree near Zumsa Phatak blocking the traffic was shown which was cleared by the Forest Department, a fire had broken out at the MEO Office and a building had toppled at Gyalshing Bazaar where later the rescue team were deputed by the District Control Room to carry out the necessary actions of safety. It was also shown that few children were feared to be trapped at Kyongsa Girls School and a section of wall housing the male patients at the District Hospital were shown to be partially damaged. Information of patients pouring in was also received from the hospital. The dedicated task force of 05 SSB, 05 IRB, and 05 Volunteers at the 05 locations were dispatched who were successful to bring the situation under control within 20-25 minutes of their arrival at the spot.

From the five scenarios, 19 victims were reported as causalities unfortunately one person succumbed to the injuries, 08 critically injured, 05 moderately injured and 05 minor injuries. For all these patients, first aid was administered at site after which they were sent to the nearest hospital for treatment. Male patients in the hospital were shifted in to another ward and SSB installed two tents in the hospital to accommodate increasing numbers of patients.

The blocked road was cleared by the Forest Department personnel and the debris were cleared by the Roads & Bridges team. Minor damages were reported by the Power and PHE Department which were immediately restored.

The mock exercise brought in the essence of the importance of coordination amongst the different departments and to work swiftly with ease under pressure when faced with similar situations in future.

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