SHILLONG: Commissioner & Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, T Dkhar inaugurated the 3-day training programme on ‘Earthquake Risk Mitigation for Safer Built Environment’ here on Wednesday. The training programme was organized by the National Institute of Disaster Management in collaboration with Meghalaya State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and attended by officials from line departments.
In his inaugural speech, Dkhar said that the State of Meghalaya, which lies in the seismically active Zone V, is prone to floods, fires, landslides, cyclonic storms and lightning strikes besides earthquake. Recalling the Shillong earthquake of 8.7 magnitude on June 12, 1897 which devastated the plateau and affected the whole of Northeast India, Dkhar said that although the death toll caused by the earthquake in those days was quite minimal, the rapidly growing human population in the region continually increases the seismic risk to several folds.
He said that with the growing population and urbanization, especially in Shillong and some other headquarters in the State having high rise buildings, this kind of programme is necessary to equip our engineers, architects, planners, administrators and other stakeholders with the knowledge required for mitigation to prepare a safe environment for the citizens.
To carry out earthquake risk mitigation programme forward, there is a need for trained manpower for taking appropriate actions before, during and after disasters in order to reduce the loss of human lives and financial consequences, he said. He expressed hoped that this forum will immensely benefit the participants and government officials to put into practice the knowledge they gain from the training.
Dr Amir Ali Khan of NIDM, who is the main resource person in the training programme, will deliberate on several issues relating to earthquake risk mitigation management with special reference to Meghalaya. Other resource persons include Surajit Bordoloi, Dr A Lyngdoh and Arulia Sangma.