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New Delhi wakes up to mega quake drill

New Delhi: Delhi woke to a text message this morning by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) informing them of a mega mock drill set to begin at 11.30 am today.

In the biggest ever such exercise to be conducted in Delhi across 400 locations, disaster management teams will rehearse a coordinated response to contain a mock earthquake of magnitude of over 7 on the Richter scale along the Delhi-Moradabad fault line, with its epicentre 275 km from the city.

Delhi is located in a high-risk seismic zone, ie it's prone to earthquakes.

FIle Photo. The drill will check the preparedness of emergency services such as the fire brigade, the ambulance services and the Delhi Police to a disaster of such scale. Reuters

Describing the scenario and the disaster team's response, should an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude hit Delhi, Vijay Dev, secretary, DDMA told the Indian Express, "There will be no tremors felt, but there will be a response to the eventuality of an earthquake. Hypothetically, certain buildings will collapse, there will be fire in some places, gas would have leaked at the CNG stations, vehicles would have collided, flyovers, metro pillars, and tracks would have developed cracks. There will be dummy injuries and casualties — we have trained forces from the civil defence – trapped in collapsed buildings and under fire. There will be largescale evacuation exercises in schools colleges, hospitals, shopping malls, cinema houses, etc. The injured would be rushed to hospitals.”

Six metro stations: AIIMS, Inderlok, Karkardooma, Tilak Nagar, Khan Market and Dwarka Sector-10 participating in the drill will be shut down for half-an-hour between 11.30 am and noon. The drill is expected to last till 1 pm.

The drill will check the preparedness of emergency services such as the fire brigade, the ambulance services and the Delhi Police to a disaster of such scale. And officers from all the important Emergency Support Functionary departments (ESFs) such as the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Health Department, Delhi Jal Board, Food and Supplies Department, and Civil Defence will participate.

Observers from the Army and disaster management NGO Philanthrope will submit a report on the mega exercise.