108 schools in Noida, Greater Noida simulate earthquake in mega drill
Students in schools across Gautam Budh Nagar had to be ‘evacuated’ safelynoida Updated: Apr 27, 2017 23:13 IST
A mega evacuation drill was simultaneously conducted in 108 schools across Gautam Budh Nagar district on Thursday. The drill simulated an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale. Across the district, 80,000 students and 6,500 teachers participated in the drill and students were evacuated from their classrooms successfully.
The drill began with the sound of the hooter indicating the earthquake, following which students took shelter under desks and later ran to safer places. Teachers had to ensure that all children were evacuated safely and no one was left inside the building.
Officials said the main objective was to spread awareness on the importance of evacuation drills in school. In any calamity, there is a higher mortality rate among children as they are not provided timely attention, they said.
Apart from students and teachers, one volunteer of the disaster management cell in Noida and one personnel of the National Disaster Response Force was deployed in each of the 108 schools.
During the drill, observers noted the level of preparedness and also listed shortcomings such as communication and timing. Observers from the Limca Book of Records were also present at the schools to see how the drill was being followed.
In addition, a command and control centre was established at the emergency operations centre (101) of the disaster management cell in Noida. There were a number of team commanders, with each responsible for 10 teams of NDRF personnel and volunteers. The commander was responsible for coordinating with the team present in schools and report to the command and control centre.
Officials signalled for the drill at 11am in all the schools and after a 10-minute lecture on dos and don’ts, students returned to their classes. At 11:20am, the hooter was rung, indicating the earthquake. Students immediately carried out the ‘drop, cover and hold for 10 seconds’ move, after which they safely evacuated their classrooms without a stampede and assembled in a safe and open area.
Here, head counts were conducted and the emergency team of the school looked for trapped students, if any. Students returned to their classes after announcement of normalcy.
The safe and methodological evacuation took very little time. For example, at Apeejay School in Noida, around 4,200 students evacuated the school in barely four minutes. In Delhi Public School in Sector 28, 3,000 students took part in the drill.