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Gurgaon: City tests disaster-preparedness during mock drill

An earthquake-like situation was simulated by the authorities to test their disaster response

gurgaon Updated: Dec 21, 2017 23:11 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon,Gurugram news,Civil Hospital
As part of mock drill to prepare for natural disasters, an earthquake-like situation was simulated at seven locations.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Sirens rang out, as emergency response vehicles rushed in to respond to an ‘earthquake’ in Gurgaon on Sunday. However, the temblor was merely part of a drill that the authorities carried out to test their preparedness in the event of a calamity.

Ambulances were seen ferrying the ‘injured’ to the Civil Hospital and four other private hospitals, as officials went about the rescue and relief operation.

As part of mock drill to prepare for natural disasters, an earthquake-like situation was simulated at seven locations. The exercise started at 10am, with a siren signalling that an earthquake had hit the city and had led to destruction of property and injury to people at the sights chosen across the district.

After the mock drill was over, the district administration said that one of the major takeaways from the exercise was to create independent mode of communication that can work during extreme calamities and retrofitting of buildings so that they can withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters.

To begin with, the occupants of designated buildings such as the Mini-Secretariat conducted the duck, cover and hold activity. As soon as the siren was heard, the employees at the Mini-Secretariat participated in the drill and evacuated the building. Evacuation drills were held at other spots by emergency teams from different departments, while the civic agencies restored water, power and telecom services gradually.

As part of the drill, 113 persons were reportedly ‘mock injured’ across seven incident locations. A relief and rehabilitation centre was set up at the Leisure valley ground.

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The entire relief and rescue operation was coordinated from the Mini-Secretariat where an emergency operation centre was set up. Directions from the centre were sent to different agencies to get men, machinery and equipment to be mobilised at the four staging areas that included Tau Devi Lal stadium, Leisure valley ground, Udyog Vihar and a HSIIDC plot in Manesar. The seven incident sites were MGF mall, Rail Vihar in Subhash Chowk, MDI, Wipro call centre in Udyog Vihar, HUDA City Centre, a Honda scooter and motorcycle manufacturing unit at Manesar and the Mini-Secretariat.

Vinay Pratap Singh, deputy commissioner, Gurgaon, who was in-charge of the exercise, said that they have decided to do a project on building safety assessment in collaboration with the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority), as there is need to retrofit buildings for earthquakes. “Buildings that need retrofitting will be identified, so that retrofitting could be done. Also, there is need to have an independent communication network that works in such situations,” Singh said.

Gurgaon police actively participated in the mock drill and its quick response teams took positions at the incident locations to keep the law and order situation in check. Sandeep Khirwar, the city police commissioner, said that quick reaction teams played a key role in relief and rescue operations and also supported the communication system through wireless mode. The commissioner also said there were many lessons to be learnt from the mock drill and these will be implemented to address deficiencies.

Vital takes from the mock drill

Create independent mode of communication to work during extreme calamities

Retrofitting of buildings so that they can withstand earthquakes and natural disasters

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First Published: Dec 21, 2017 23:10 IST