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Delhi Earthquake Drill PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 March 2012 00:00

GNDR members observe earthquake drill in Delhi.

Just days before this week's earthquake in Delhi - reported by India's earthquake centre to measure a magnitude 4.9 - emergency services had been practicing a post-earthquake immediate response scenario.  GNDR members welcomed the initiative – the first of its kind in Delhi – and highlighted areas for improvement:

 

manuManu Gupta, GNDR Steering Group member and Director of SEEDS reports from Delhi:


This was indeed a welcome move by the Government of Delhi to be initiating such an exercise


There were problems encountered in coordination but this is to be expected since this is the first exercise of its kind in the city.  However, there was a disturbing lack of participation sought from communities. Local community based organisations, NGOs, neighbourhood associations and local youth volunteers can play a critical role in emergencies where city level emergency services get easily overwhelmed.  However, very little was done to mobilise them. Barring a few advertisements in the media which merely “informed” citizens of the drill instead of telling them “how to” participate, there was no other effort on taking them on board. Being ringside ‘mute’ spectators, the civil society felt a lot more could have been achieved and demonstrated if partnerships could be forged before the actual drill.


We were in a management committee meeting, when the earthquake shook us this morning. Our own preparedness got tested! The earthquake emphasizes how important it is to do all we can to prepare for future problems, and it is vital that civil society play an important role in working with communities to maximize their preparedness.”


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