A State-level mock exercise on earthquake disasters organised by the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, was conducted today in the different areas of Pakyong and Rangpo.
The exercise aimed to test the preparedness for any kind of emergency situation and make logical and effective decisions while managing and coordinating during times of disaster.
The simulated drill started from the occurrence of the Earthquake at 09:03 am which was made known to the public by raucous blaring of siren.
The District Disaster Management Authority, headed by District Collector Pakyong Shri Tashi Chophel, immediately came into action and activated “Immediate Response Teams” along with the “District Emergency Operating Centre,” including officials from line departments, Sikkim Police, NDRF, SSB, Army Personnel, Fire Department, NHIDCL, BRO and volunteers from Sai Samiti, SARATHI, Pakyong Taxi Drivers Association, NYK and Panchayats.
The Incident Commanders headed the team at Incident Command Post, where ADC Pakyong, Ms. Anupa Tamling, took charge of Pakyong and SDM Rangpo, Mrs. Sujata Subba, took charge of the Rangpo IOCL gas leakage incident.
A relief camp for the victims of the earthquake was set up at St. Xavier’s School Auditorium, where all sorts of facilities were facilitated for the families.
The exercise was carried out in five different scenarios within the Pakyong district. The first scenario involved a trembling building at DAC Pakyong, where the officials executed drop, cover, and hold drills to rescue themselves.
A fire accident at Pakyong Bazaar and the response of the fire service and other stakeholders made up the second scenario.
In the third scenario, a road was blocked between the airport entrance and Dikling SSS because of a landslip and a tree that had fallen in the area.
Additionally, a building collapsed at Dikling SSS, resulting in some kids getting trapped and one student losing his life. Likewise pupils there practised the evacuation drill of “drop, cover, and hold.”
The fourth scenario concerned PHC Pakyong’s readiness, and the response of the medical staff and other stakeholders.
The sixth scenario included a gas threat caused by a leak at IOCL Mazitar, Rangpo. Regarding the actions, the leak was stopped, and the affected regions were evacuated.
Following the simulation exercise, the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority SSDMA and officials from each of Sikkim’s six districts had a video conference (VC), during which each District Collector and the District Observers shared their input and suggestions on the exercise.
Maj. Gen. Sudhir Bahl (Retd), Sr. Conslt(ME & IRS) a Member of, the National Disaster Management Authority, who had been mentoring and supervising the entire process, concluded the task by presenting his perspectives and recommending that the drill be regularly practised.
Courtesy IPR GOS/12 May 2023
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