The annual Kangra Earthquake Anniversary School Shakeout is an earthquake preparedness drill in north India schools. The event commemorates the anniversary of the 1905 Kangra earthquake, which killed over 19,700 people. It generates awareness of the earthquake hazard in this location and how to protect lives. GeoHazards International and GeoHazards Society (GHS) have organized the drill, in collaboration with regional organizations, annually since 2009.
This year, in addition to Tibetan schools that previously participated, the drill included other schools in north India where GeoHazards International and GHS have trained staff and students over the last year in comprehensive school safety. In addition, a school in Bhutan that had also received training decided to take part in this event.
Scene from the annual Kangra earthquake safety drill, north India.
At 11:00 AM IST on Wednesday the 4th April 2012, school children in thirty-seven Tibetan schools (in J & K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh), eight schools in Kanpur, fifteen schools in Ghaziabad, three schools in Delhi, and one school in Thimphu (Bhutan) took part in this mass earthquake preparedness activity with active participation of 28,410 students and staff members.
Though many schools carried out the drills differently in accordance to their preparedness plan, the underlying theme was to test and enhance the levels of awareness and preparedness among the staff and students.