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Disaster control drill in Jorhat from today

Jorhat, April 7: Jorhat will be the fifth town in the country and second in Assam after Guwahati to organise adisaster management exercise from tomorrow.

The five-day exercise, JEMEx 2013, has been organised by the district disaster management authority, Jorhat, in collaboration with the Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

Addressing reporters here today, the project officer of the state disaster management authority, Nandita Hazarika, said the exercise was aimed to build the capacity of the government officials, different emergency response agencies and various stakeholders, including NGOs and volunteersfor better management of disaster situations.

“We want to train people responsible for emergency services and also see the kind of response of the emergency system that is in place,” Hazarikia said, adding that the response in the first 48 to 72 hours after a disaster was very crucial as lot lives might be saved during this period if search-and-rescue response was prompt and proper.

She said about 500 personnel from different line departments, hospitals, industries, schools, NGOs and civil society organisations, National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, Assam police, civil defence, fire service, scouts and guides, National Disaster Management Authority, National College of Civil Defence, Nagpur, Unicef, Academy of Trauma and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmedabad, would train the local team members of the emergency response service.

A senior specialist from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Naghma Firdaus, said in the first three days the participants would be trained at nine parallel tracks (venues) and on the fourth day a table-top exercise — a review of the training given would be conducted. She said on the final day a simulation exercise would be done involving various local agencies in which about 200 victims of different disaster situations and six hospitals (government and private) would take part.

Firdaus said the observers from the National Disaster Management Authority and State Disaster Management Authority would supervise the whole exercise and point out the gaps (if any) detected in the exercise to be corrected and included in the standing operating procedures prepared for tackling each kind of emergency.

Jorhat deputy commissioner R.C. Jain, who is the chairman of the district disaster management authority, said Assam revenue minister Prithibi Majhi would inaugurate the exercise while chief minister Tarun Gogoi would be the chief guest on Thursday.