Guwahati, Tuesday, April 10, 2012
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Need to set up early warning system stressed
Staff reporter
 GUWAHATI, April 9 – Keeping in view the paradigm shift in disaster management today that is looking into all aspects including recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has proposed many measures to the Planning Commission with particular reference to vulnerable regions like the North East.

NDMA vice chairman S Reddy on Monday stressed for setting up state-of-the-art early warning system in Assam and other parts of the North East that is prone to natural disasters.

Reddy who was speaking at a workshop organized here by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on the topic ‘Mainstreaming Media into Disaster Risk Reduction’, suggested a regular regimen of mock exercise in Assam so that the people can be prepared in the eventuality of an earthquake.

“Since earthquakes do not come with a warning, it is important that the government adopts a programme of regular mock drill,” said Reddy pointing out that it was also very essential to adhere to the building code to minimize loss of life during an earthquake.

It needs to be mentioned here that the NDMA is planning to engage experts in earthquake to get the scenario of possible damages in the event of a major tremor and how the government and various stake holders need to respond.

Reddy further suggested for focusing on community-based disaster preparedness.

“The States must also have their own disaster response force,” Reddy said adding that documentation is also important in disaster management.

Reddy appealed to the media to take the official statement while reporting on disaster so that the real message is conveyed to the public.

On the other hand, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who released the annual report of ASDMA said that as there was no mechanism to prevent disaster, the focus should be on reducing the impact of the disaster. Observing the role of media in disaster management, Gogoi said that media has to play a balanced role and desist from creating panic during a disaster. He said that the State government was geared to face any disaster and said that the public has to follow the rules to minimize the havoc.

The programme was attended by many dignitaries including minister of revenue and disaster management Prithivi Majhi.

Some of the media persons suggested that the government should create a data base to keep the media update on the various steps initiated by the government in disaster management.

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