Red Cross holds earthquake
Kathmandu, May 23:
The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in association with the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) held a two-day Contingency Plan Orientation
Exercise for an earthquake emergency situation in Kathmandu Valley.
The exercise was participated by the NRCS leadership, its staffers and Red Cross Movement partners in Kathmandu.
The overall objectives of the simulation exercise were to gain a perspective on whether the draft contingency plan reflects NRCS’s ability and means to respond to a major earthquake emergency situation, and to understand the level of preparedness during a large-scale disaster in Kathmandu Valley.
The simulation exercise conducted assumed a 8.1 Richter scale earthquake striking the Valley and taking thousands of lives and huge loss of structures and property with disruption of essential services such as water, electricity, telecommunication and transportation.
“As Kathmandu Valley is regarded as an earthquake prone area and NRCS has long experience working in disaster situations, this exercise has a great importance for checking alertness and response from NRCS staffers and volunteers,” said Sanjeev Thapa, chairman of the NRCS.
The participants were divided into 15 groups and worked on real-life situations. The use of walky-talky, radio and satellite phones for establishing communication contact, meetings and immediate decisions for timely response were made by all teams.
The readiness in response for providing first aid, relief with food and non-food items, coordination and mobilisation of resources was checked.
Similarly, there was involvement of a health team for providing water purification tablets and raising public awareness not to use contaminated water.
“This exercise was very crucial for disaster preparedness in Nepal following a number of large natural disasters in Asia, including the earthquake in China and the Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar” said Andrea Reisinger, the Representative of the IFRC in Nepal.
The IFRC supported the Nepal Red Cross Society during the simulation exercise with its technical Disaster Management Experts from its regional and zonal delegations in New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur.