The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh administration would jointly conduct a mega mock exercise of an earthquake at Panchkula, Chandigarh, Mohali, Shimla and adjoining region in February 2013.
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and senior officers of the state government had a meeting with a high powered delegation of NDMA, led by its vice chairman M Shashidhar Reddy, regarding multi-state earthquake preparedness campaign.
Hooda asked the various departments to be always prepared for any sort of natural disaster and sensitise the common people about such hazards.
Reddy said Kangra had suffered an earthquake of 7.8 intensity in 1905. On this pattern, the mock drill exercise would be based on a hypothetical earthquake with epicenter at Sundarnagar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. The magnitude of Mw 8.0, maximum intensity of IX+, depth of 15km and rupture length at 200 kilometer.
In the proposed mock drill, he informed, the Mandi earthquake scenario will be worked out with realistic events built on scientific principles.
In such an eventuality, Panchkula, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal districts of Haryana and Chandigarh union territory fall in the zone, which is likely to suffer extensive infrastructure and building damage.
Kaithal, Jind, Panipat districts may also suffer severe building damage, Hisar, Sonipat, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar districts may suffer severe to moderate building damage. Schools and colleges, malls, metro stations, hotels and resident welfare associations would be involved in the drill.
Reddy pointed out that states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Chandigarh fall close to prominent fault lines making these states highly vulnerable to this hazard.
Therefore, it was the joint responsibility of the NDMA and concerned states to bring awareness among the people about earthquake preparedness besides focusing on development scenario, collection of requisite data/information from departments and districts of the participating states.
Reddy said the exercise was being done to understand the implications of a possible major earthquake and its likely impact on several states on preparedness, response and coordination.
Participation of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh would be ensured besides deploying observers from Jammu and Kashmir and Uttrakhand to oversee the entire mock drill, he added.
The exercise will help in understanding the direct and indirect consequences of a big earthquake, evaluate the state/district disaster management plans and to identify gaps, updating response plans at various levels, mass casualty management, check coordination between district disaster management authorities, state disaster management authorities and NDMA and all other stakeholders. It will also help in creating generate awareness.