Delhi Mass Drill Simulated 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake
More than 40,000 Delhi residents took part in a mass earthquake drill on Wednesday that simulated a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale.
AsianScientist (Feb. 17, 2012) - More than 40,000 Delhi residents took part in a mass earthquake drill on Wednesday that simulated a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale.
Experts have long questioned Delhi's ability to withstand a major earthquake due to lack of safety standards, illegal buildings, and poor enforcement of building codes.
Despite its classification as a high-risk seismic zone, ranking four on a five-point scale by the U.S. Geological Survey, every year tens of thousands of housing units are built without any earthquake safety checks.
The initiative, the first by the National Disaster Management Authority and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, is the culmination of the country's first-ever State-wide earthquake preparedness exercise which got underway last December.
Involving 15,000 officials of various departments and agencies, the exercise was conducted across 218 government and 24 private schools, 31 colleges, 11 government and 11 private hospitals, four cinemas, 19 resident welfare associations, 13 government office buildings, eight markets, and two petrol pumps.
A total of 276 "deaths" were enacted; around 828 people were assumed to have suffered major injuries, and 1,897 people with minor injuries.
The two-hour disaster simulation brought together the police, fire officers, ambulances, and volunteers. There were 300 Army observers present during the exercise and they are drawing up a report on the exercise.
"I encourage all high risk seismic cities to follow the example of Delhi and to be better prepared against any catastrophic event. More than 370 million people live in earthquake-prone cities around the world," said the head of the UN's Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström.
Source: UNISDR; Photo: HT Photo/Sonu Mehta.
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