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Meghalaya braces for disaster management

Shillong: The Japan earthquake has prompted the Government of Meghalaya which is located in Zone—V, one of the most seismic areas in the world, to brace itself for disaster management.

“District Disaster Management Committees headed by the respective deputy commissioners along with mobile medical units would be deployed in case of disaster,” faculty head of the Disaster Management Centre S Ahmed said during an interactive session with journalists here on Thursday.

Acknowledging that almost 75 per cent of villages in the State had Disaster Management Committees, he said there were provisions for Disaster Response Funds at district levels.

The Centre, he said, would bear 75 per cent of resources under Calamity Relief Fund in cases of emergency.

Mr. Ahmed, however, said Emergency Operation Centres in the State were still not operational.

“The centres will be made functional soon.”

Former deputy director of the directorate of information and public relations, P Marbaniang, who was a resource person at the session said, “the point is not to create panic but to make the public aware of disaster management methods.”

Stating that there were ‘Early Warning' and ‘Search and Rescue' teams, amongst others, he, however, admitted that much of these were on paper only.

The Meghalaya Administrative Training Institute has conducted training in disaster management for various people including teachers, health officers, paramedical personnel and State Government officers of different departments.

Officials, however, admitted that the response to disaster management workshops in the State so far has been lukewarm.- PTI

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