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United Nations praises Delhi exercise

The head of the United Nations office for disaster risk reduction has welcomed the mass earthquake drill organized by Indian authorities in Delhi this week and encouraged all high seismic cities to follow the city’s example to better prepare for possible catastrophes.

More than 40,000 people took part in the drill to check the alertness and preparedness of the 16.7 million people living in the Indian capital in the event of 7.2-magnitude quake.

Margareta Wahlström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, welcomed the drill, which was the culmination of the country’s first-ever State-wide earthquake preparedness exercise which got underway last December.

The two-hour disaster simulation, organized by the National Disaster Management Authority and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, was conducted across hundreds of schools, hospitals, cinemas, resident welfare associations, government office buildings, markets, and petrol stations.

A total of 276 ‘deaths’ were enacted, while around 828 people were assumed to have suffered major injuries, and 1,897 others suffered minor injuries.

Six metro stations were closed for over 30 minutes and road traffic in many areas of the city was diverted as part of the exercise.

•Date: 17th February 2012 •Asia •Type: Article • Topic: Testing and exercising

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