Thousands of Students Participate in GHI-Organized Earthquake Drill
The annual Kangra Earthquake Anniversary School Shakeout is an earthquake preparedness drill that GeoHazards International (GHI) and GeoHazards Society (GHS) have organized in collaboration with various other regional organizations. The event commemorates the anniversary of the 1905 Kangra earthquake, which killed over 19,700 people. The event generates awareness of the earthquake hazard in this location and enhances the ability of schools to protect lives. GHI has been conducting the drill since 2009.
This year, in addition to Tibetan schools that had previously participated, the drill included several non-Tibetan schools within the country where GHI and GHS had been training the staff and students over the last year in comprehensive school safety. In addition, a school in Bhutan that had also received GHI and GHS training decided to take part in this event, ensuring that the drills start influencing schools outside India as well.
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.
Scene from the annual Kangra earthquake safety drill.