India’s Capital Conducts First Ever Disaster Drill

Posted February 15th, 2012 at 8:40 am (UTC-5)
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Authorities in India's congested and earthquake-prone capital New Delhi conducted the city's first-ever mock disaster drill Wednesday in an effort to make its 16.5 million people better prepared.

Authorities said the two-hour drill had been a success and promised a more detailed analysis later. They also said they hoped residents had learned from the exercise.

“We believe that this is the right thing. Everything has been done very properly. The rest of the final report will be given out later. The people should understand and learn by looking at things and see that they, too, should be this way.”

During the drill, volunteers posed as disaster survivors as officials from the city's emergency services launched rescue operations at several prominent locations across the city. Authorities also closed several metro railway stations and diverted road traffic in many areas.

The local government estimates that as many as nine out of every 10 buildings in New Delhi are at risk of moderate or significant earthquake damage. Also, tens of thousands of housing units are built each year without any earthquake safety checks.