Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction Project initiated in three cities in Southern India

Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction Project initiated in three cities in Southern India

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India, Thiruvananthapuram, Tuesday January 1 2008 THE formation of a ward disaster management teams to initiate the rescue operations in a region hit by earthquake was kicked off in the city on Monday. The teams are being selected from each ward as part of the Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction Project in three cities, namely Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.

The formation of disaster management teams was inaugurated by Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran at the Thycaud guest house. The Minister said that there must be a coordinated effort to overcome such moments of disaster. We must creatively make use of the knowledge of the scientist community to develop methods to fight such disasters.

The effects of an earthquake not only leaves its footprints on a land profile, but has adverse effects on the minds of young people. So, there must be an effort to erase these fears from the minds of children along with awareness programmes on what to be done on such occasions, the Minister said.

The earthquake that occurred in the last five years in different parts of the state must be studied to chart out ways to overcome the disaster, he said. Presiding over the function, Law Minister M. Vijayakumar said that the youth clubs in the state must be made a part of the disaster management teams. The Youth Welfare Board has already held talks with the Revenue Department in this respect and steps will be taken in this direction, he said.

The function was organised by the district administration. Speaking on the occasion, District Collector N. Ayyappan said that the first stage of the project would be an awareness campaign. The project will ensure participation of residents’ associations, anganwadis, kudumbasree groups and other clubs.

The training for the project will be given by recognised training centres in the Centre or State and will be overseen by the district administration. A disaster management plan will be designed in each ward for which resource mapping, hazard mapping and response plan will be charted out. The disaster management teams will be headed by Corporation councillors.

The three cities in the State have been included by scientists among the 38 cities of the country that fall under the seismic zone. According to officials, Thiruvananthapuram falls under seismic zone three.

The project is being jointly undertaken by the Union Home Ministry, State Revenue Department and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is implemented through the district administration.