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An initiative for managing disaster

Staff Reporter

City will have 2,325 people trained in the basics


  • "Disaster management team members are socially committed citizens"
  • The Corporation needs to do more to equip itself for better disaster management and mitigation: Vijayakumar
  • Booklets with notes on what the public can do to help mitigate disasters released

    Chennai: The Chennai Corporation launched an initiative for disaster management training in all wards of the city on Saturday.

    The `urban earthquake vulnerability reduction project' is a joint effort by the Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme. The Corporation is the implementing agency in the city.

    Volunteers from the community will be members of disaster management teams at the ward-level. About five members for each of the three teams — search and rescue, water and sanitation and first aid — have been identified in the wards.

    The city, which has 155 wards, will have about 2,325 people with basic training to help in the event of a disaster.

    Resource persons from the Public Health department will instruct on water and sanitation, St. John's Ambulance will teach first aid and Fire and Rescue Services will offer training.

    Commissioner for Revenue Administration and Disaster Management R. Santhanam inaugurated the training in Zone 7 at the Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School in Nungambakkam.

    "The public is the first respondent in any disaster. It is also possible to prevent a hazard from becoming a disaster," Mr. Santhanam said. As Chennai comes in zone three of the country's seismic map, such training was very important.

    Mr. Santhanam said similar training was being conducted in six multi-hazard prone districts: Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, the Nilgiris, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari. "We have written to the Centre to extend the programme to all districts."

    Corporation Commissioner M. P. Vijayakumar said the members for the disaster management team were socially committed citizens, who had come forward for the training though there was no remuneration attached.

    Mr. Vijayakumar said the Chennai Corporation had to do more to equip itself for better disaster management and mitigation.

    When a high-rise building in Santhome collapsed trapping a few people, rescue proved to be very difficult despite the availability of engineering and expert help, he said.

    The Corporation plans to buy equipment to cut through debris in case of such mishaps. Booklets with notes on what the public can do to help mitigate disasters were provided at the training programme.

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