Bhubaneswar, November 15 (LocalWire): The two-day preparatory meeting for the 2nd Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation began here in Puri on Thursday.
The meeting focuses on existing emergency procedures for notification, preparedness and emergency response in a coordinated manner during a major earthquake scenario at cultural heritage sites and aims to work out the modalities for BIMSTEC-DMEx 20 and BIMSTEC Expert Group meeting in February 2020.
“This is first of its kind exercise planned among the BIMSTEC member nations. This will be helpful to chalk out a plan to save our cultural Heritage sites during disasters.
We should prefer to pay special attention to these heritage sites during disasters, augment distinct and combined preparedness,” said an official statement.
The main exercise shall be conducted on two scenarios: floods and earthquakes.
During this preparatory meeting Conduct of Table Top Exercise (TTx), Field Training Exercise (FTx) and After Action Review (AAR) was discussed. Besides, the logistics plan for the 2nd BIMSTEC-DMEx was also discussed amongst the number Nations.
It may be recalled during the 4th BIMSTEC Summit in Kathmandu in August 2018 prime minister Narendra Modi had proposed to host the 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise and the expert group meetings of NDMAs/NDMOs of BIMSTEC Nation in 2019 in India.
Accordingly, it was decided that BIMSTEC-DMEx will be conducted in Puri and will focus on ‘cultural heritage site that suffers severe damage in an earthquake’ and ‘cultural heritage site that is affected by flooding or storm surge’.
BIMSTEC is an international grouping of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Speaking on the occasion, Odisha special relief commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena highlighted the progress made by India in disaster response and disaster risk reduction during the last 20 years, particularly the role of India Meteorological Department (IMD) in the dissemination of early and accurate warning, including intensity, path, speed and impact of cyclones.
He also shared information about the role of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for advance pre-positioning during disasters and specialised response and well coordination with all agencies and stakeholders during disasters.
Comparing 1999 super cyclone to 2013 cyclone Phailin, Jena said, “The government is now better equipped and prepared in terms of technology, equipment, manpower and resources for disaster management.”
The meeting is being jointly organised by the NDRF and Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA).