Port Blair, Nov. 14: The Commissioner-cum-Secretary Disaster Management, Ms. Punya Salila Srivastav IAS has called for active participation from the members of general public during the State Level Mock Exercise on Disaster Management to be held on 22nd Nov. 2013.

Addressing the media today afternoon in the media room of Directorate of Disaster Management the Ms. Srivastav said that the mock exercise is being done in the supervision of National Disaster Management Authority. Since A&N Islands is vulnerable to disasters not only geographical but also hydro metrological disasters such as cyclone, flooding, storm etc. it becomes the responsibility of the islanders to be alert and prepared.

The Commissioner cum Secretary also explained that the Disaster Management Mock Exercise has been set up involving various agencies and govt. machineries under the unified command of the Hon’ble Lt. Governor. While the Chief Secretary is the Responsible Officer (RO) for Incident Response at the UT Level, the Commissioner (DM/ RR) is the Incident Commander (IC) at the UT Level. The Deputy Commissioners are Responsible Officers at the District Level and Asst. Commissioners are the Incident Commanders at Sub Divisional Level.

She further said that Incident Response Teams have been identified at UT/Dist/Sub Divisional level with roles and responsibilities given. Soon after receipt of Disaster Treat Message, Incident Action Plan (IAP) will be prepared. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be activated by all the PRIs without waiting for any directions from the respective headquarters.

State Control Rooms (SCR) has been set up in Port Blair and 6 Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) have been set up at Mayabunder, Port Blair, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay, which will function in coordination with the Control Rooms of Police, Port Management Board, Directorate of Shipping Services, Port Blair Municipal Council, Electricity Department and the Andaman & Nicobar Command.

The SCR has been equipped with STD/ISD/FAX and all control rooms are connected with VHF to ensure exchange of communication under any situation. As many as 13 Satellite Phones have also been distributed to various islands. Video conferencing with MHA and EOCs, DMS Server link with MHA, SMS Burst, Electronic Display Board, Toll Free Helpline 1077 (Dist EOCs 1070) etc. have also been added to ensure proper communication.

With regard to Early Warning and Communication System hotlines in SCR with INCOIS and ANC has been connected through BSNL. Apart from this VSAT Connectivity in State Control Rooms and EOCs with INCOIS are independent of BSNL. VHF Sets with DM Channel 7 has also been dedicated by A&N Police upto Tehsil level Revenue Officers. Presently INCOIS/USGS/European websites monitored by INCOIS bulletins are being received through FAX/E-mails. The bulletins are being received in 33 email ids, 46 FAX nos. and 105 mobile numbers and all members associated are independently informed.

Apart from the above 13 Electronic Display Boards installed by INCOIS have been provided to 5 EOCs and in the State Control Room. 20 sirens & 3 additional sirens at DSS, DBRAIT & Forest in South Andaman and 9 sirens in Nicobar District are being used to issue alerts. Plans are on to install 4 additional sirens before the exercise on 22nd Nov. in the N&M Andaman. Moreover attempts are being made to remotely activate the sirens through SMS. Area specific SMS Alert to public will also be operationalized through BSNL, informed the Commissioner –cum-Secretary.

As a new initiative, Megaphones/ PA Systems and Mobile Communication Vans of Police will be used to inform the public.

There are two levels defined for the Mock Exercise. In the Level I, communication test will be done on 20th Nov. 2013 at 0930 (IST) in the entire A&N Islands. This is to also note the gaps in order to bridge them if any. In the Level II, Mock Exercise with selected communities will be held on 22nd Nov. 2013 at 0930 (IST). The selected communities have been identified as South Andaman District: Ward No. 7 & 8 in Port Blair, Shorepoint, Bambooflat and Hopetown. Mus, Kinmai, Small Lapathy, Kakana & Campbell Bay in Nicobar District, Aamkunj and Nimbutala in N&M Andaman District. Apart from these all schools and colleges across Andaman & Nicobar Islands will conduct evacuation drill on 22nd Nov. 2013, Ms. Srivastav informed.

The Exercise scenario will be such that a magnitude of earthquake measuring 9.0 MW, Lat 3.35 N Long 95.96 E, Depth 10 Km, Region: North Sumatra and an origin time of 0930 (IST) on Nov. 22, 2013. This is followed with 3 to 5 mtrs of waves hitting the coast of Port Blair, Rangat, Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay causing wide spread damage, added the Commissioner –cum-Secretary.