India

India capital Delhi holds massive earthquake drill

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Media captionEmergency workers practised helping mock earthquake victims

Disaster management forces in the Indian capital, Delhi, have held a massive drill to assess the preparedness of various agencies in the event of a big earthquake.

The two-hour-long exercise was held in schools, colleges, markets, hospitals and on public transport.

A number of metro railway stations were shut and road traffic was diverted in many areas.

Delhi is among 30 cities in India that fall into a high-risk seismic zone.

Officials said Wednesday's drill was the first of its kind in India.

Disaster management officials said the drill was meant to "create a number of simulated situations like collapse of flyovers, crack in metro pillars, damage to hospitals and collapse of residential buildings due to an earthquake measuring 7 on the Richter scale".

Reports say the exercise involved 242 schools, 31 colleges, 22 hospitals and 13 government buildings.

Two petrol stations, three high-rise buildings, eight shopping malls, seven metro railway stations, six fly-overs, and the new airport terminal were also involved.

"There will be no tremors felt, but there will be a response to the eventuality of an earthquake," Vijay Dev of Delhi Disaster Management Authority told The Indian Express newspaper before the drill.

"There will be dummy injuries and casualties. There will be large-scale evacuation exercises. The [mock] injured would be rushed to hospitals."

Mr Dev said disaster management forces needed to learn from the drill.

Delhi, along with the cities of Amritsar and Chandigarh, falls under the high risk (zone IV) seismic zone.

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