DIMAPUR: The Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) conducted the Nagaland emergency preparedness exercise (NEPEx), a state-wide mega mock exercise, across the state on Thursday.

The exercise was conducted on an earthquake scenario with a magnitude of 8.7 on the Richter scale.

This exercise is being carried out to test the capability of the state to respond to and also manage any mega-disaster.

A simulated earthquake scenario of 8.7 magnitude was created in Kohima where buildings collapsed and fire incidents were created at five locations – Grace Higher Secondary School Bayav├╝, Dr. N. Kire Govt. Higher Secondary School Siekhazou, Mt. Olive College Daklane, Mao Market BOC, and one resident House No. A236 at Officer’s Hill.

The Nagaland State Disaster Response Force, medical, fire and emergency services, police personnel and Kohima Village Youth Organisation were involved in the search and rescue operation.

Nagaland police personnel were also deputed for crowd management at some affected sites.

The incident commander and Kohima additional deputy commissioner Rhosietho Nguori said the exercise was conducted to test the capability of the district to respond and manage any mega-disaster.

He thanked all the line departments and stakeholders for their cooperation and active participation in the exercise.

Various section chiefs in the incident response system also shared their experiences and challenges met during the exercises.

In Dimpur, the staging area was set up at the Nagaland stadium while pantaloons, forest department residential area, Government High School Lingrijan and GHS Sarbura were the incident sites during the mock exercise.

The siren was triggered at 9 am as information regarding the occurrence of a hypothetical earthquake of magnitude 8.7 on the Richer scale in Dimapur was received at the district emergency operation centre.

The responsible officer briefed the command staff after which the Incident commander along with the other incident response team rushed to the staging area to take stock of the situation and resource mobilisation.

During the mock drill, there were three deaths, nine were seriously injured and eight sustained minor injuries, all of whom were evacuated and given medical attention from the hospital. The bodies were kept in the mortuary.

The exercise was also carried out in district headquarters at Niuland, Wokha, Kiphire, Mon, Longleng, Peren, Tuensang, Tseminyu, Phek, Chumukedima, Shamator, Noklak and Zunheboto.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com