As Noida falls under Seismic Zone VI, which is prone to earthquakes, the Noida Disaster Management Cell conducted a mock drill for school and college students at Panchsheel Balak Inter College in Sector 91 on February 27. About 400 students and teachers participated in the drill.
Dr Kumar Raka, who heads the cell, said, “The city has grown swiftly in the past few years. There are a number of high-rise buildings and the population has also increased. The possibility of an intensity VIII earthquake can’t be ruled out.”
With that in mind, the disaster management cell decided to prepare students to deal with such situations effectively. Dr Raka said, “Students can be the driving force in any awareness drill, as they accept new information quickly and carry the message to their homes.”
He said that students were also taught how to escape in case their house was on fire. They were taught not to run if their clothes were on fire, but to lie down on the floor and start rolling. This, they were told, would help douse the fire.
If the house was on fire and people were asleep, they were told not to run towards the door on waking up. Instead, they should crawl towards the door.
Along with teaching students how to deal with emergency situations, they were also told to report to their teachers if the school bus drivers didn't adhere to traffic rules. Dr Raka said it would help the school administration take action against drivers who jumped red lights and put students at risk.
The disaster management cell also selected several schools and colleges, in which similar drills will be conducted in the coming months. The cell has been conducting safety audit drives of hospitals in the city. Similar drives for schools will also be held soon.
Dr Raka said that as schools and colleges were converted into shelters during earthquakes, their safety audit would also be done.
NP Singh (district magistrate), Deepak Agarwal (CEO of Noida Authority), Saumya Srivastava (DCEO of Noida Authority), Keshav Kumar (additional district magistrate) and Rajesh Kumar (sub-divisional magistrate) were present during the drill.
Anurag Bhargav (chief medical officer of Noida), Deepak Kapoor (president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India), Asha Prabhakar (president of the district association of CBSE schools), Rajesh Kumar (RTO), Dr Meena Singh (education officer) and Veer Singh (vice-president of Shuttl, a private transportation company) also attended the event.