A the two-day-long preparatory meeting of the `Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue- 2019’ began in New Delhi on Thursday, marking the first phase of the main exercise scheduled for 21-24 February 2019.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been entrusted with the responsibility of organising the exercise by Government of India.
The previous meeting of the heads of departments of disaster prevention of SCO countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states, led by union home minister Rajnath Singh was held at Kyrgyzstan in August 2017. India had then volunteered to organise the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue- 2019 for the region.
The meeting also highlighted the increasing trends of disasters, especially hydro-metrological disasters, in the region. As all the countries are interconnected with each other, action in one part of world affects the other part.
The preparatory meeting will chalk out the plan, discuss requirements, details and modalities of main exercise, which is scheduled for February 2019. The exercise will be based on INSARAG guideline.
Welcoming the august gathering, Director General, NDRF, Sanjay Kumar said the types of events, modalities, venues, protocol and requirements would be worked for smooth conduct of main exercise during the course of this two-day Preparatory Meeting. DG, NDRF, further added that the simulation exercise will provide an opportunity to practice and strengthen the national and international response, coordination protocols and methodologies, in a major earthquake scenario requiring international assistance.
Representatives from all eight member countries, namely India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan attended the meeting, addressed the audience and shared their introductory remark.
The meeting was also attended by the officials from NDMA, NIDM, MHA, MEA NDRF as well as from various central ministries and stake-holders.
The meeting will be concluding today.