The Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) conducted a mega mock drill across the state last week. The mock drill was organised in a manner to suggest as if a real earthquake had struck the state. All disaster management forces across Nagaland were swung into action to contain perceived damages caused by a 8.4 magnitude earthquake whose epicentre was located between Kohima and Phek at a stretch of around 80-90 kms from the state capital.
The NSDMA in association with DDMAs and concerned governmental departments, civil societies and the communities conducted the ‘Nagaland Emergency Preparedness Exercise’ (NEPEx). The exercise was to generate awareness among communities and different agencies on how to establish a mechanism for effective response to any disaster.
The mock drill recorded a real time disaster response across the 11 districts. At the Incident Command Post, the tragedy and damage report showed a heavy loss across the state. Most districts reported damages of properties like collapsed buildings, land erosion and people trapped under debris. Massive landslides and electrical break downs were the main issues hindering rescue operations.
The exercise began with an emergency siren in all district headquarters, villages and institutions. In Dimapur, the exercise was carried out in various market areas, school and many other places simultaneously after it was flagged of at the DDSC Stadium
Immediately, people in schools, institutions and offices were asked to respond by a method of Drop, Cover and Hold for two minutes until the siren was sounded for the second time.
The State Emergency Operation Centre and District Emergency Operation Centerswere activated during the emergency exercise. Volunteers from different departments and villages participated in the mock drill.
Nagaland lies under Seismic Zone V and is vulnerable to many natural calamities such as earthquake, landslide, flash flood, thunderstorm, hailstorm, forest fire etc.
The two-hour long exercise added some awareness to all line departments and the public to respond to such calamities. NEPEx showcased the possibilities of a multi impact of disaster effects and it will further organise such drills annually during different seasons of the year to make the state a safer and resilient society.