Date:12th February, 2020 Time 1730 hrs

Shri Nityanand Rai, Hon’ble Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India inaugurated Field Training Exercise of 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise on flood rescue today at the Ramachandi Beach, Puri (Odisha) in which the delegates & rescue teams of 5 member nations namely- India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka & Myanmar, of BIMSTEC group participated with great zeal and enthusiasm.

Highlighting the historicity and diversity cultural heritage sites in the BIMSTEC region, Hon’ble Minister said that this exercise will provide a platform for member states to evaluate existing capabilities, share best emergency response practices, improve existing emergency preparedness and strengthen regional response mechanism and also to conduct risk assessment in the context of cultural heritage sites at the time of disaster.

Hon’ble Minister highlighted the efforts of Government of India in organizing this first of its kind exercise at the coastal city of India, Puri in Odisha. He said that this exercise will help in sharing best practices and expertise, consolidating the disaster response, coordination and cooperation among BIMSTEC countries during disasters.

In order to bring in a feel of real disaster scenario, "simulated exercise sites including villages & Heritage Site (Konark Sun Temple)” were set up at Ramachandi Beach in Puri to depict flooded localities and houses due to the flood disaster. Large number of simulated dummy structures including multi-storied buildings and houses were erected in inundated condition with marooned people & livestock at the exercise site to reflect the real disaster scenario and ultimately it was helpful to all the participating teams to become familiar to preserve the damage cultural heritage during disasters.

Flood disaster was painted due to cyclone followed by heavy rainfall. A large number of people were presumed to be stranded within the simulated villages and also the cyclone adversely affected a cultural heritage site. Considering the huge impact of the flood disaster, BIMSTEC member countries

offered assistance to the Govt. of India for the flood rescue & relief operation. Govt. of India accepted the assistance offered by BIMSTEC member nations and thus participated in this joint field exercise.

The rescue teams of various member nations responded professionally as per the situation and demonstrated quick response using latest flood rescue gadgets/equipment for rescuing the marooned people. Rescue teams carried out a highly synchronized Flood Search and Rescue operations including medical assistance with the help of river ambulance & relief distribution work. A boat capsize incident was also simulated which was professionally tackled by the rescuers of the teams.

A Heli-born rescue operation was carried out to demonstrate the coordination among various stakeholders to deal with emergency situation. Relief activities such as providing medical care to the needy, distribution of food packets etc. were also simultaneously shown in a very coordinated and professional manner. For this Exercise, a Communication Centre, Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), Base of Operation, Medical Camp, Facilitation Centre, Media Enclave etc. were established by the NDRF as per the International Search & Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) guidelines for familiarization & exercise purpose.

In addition, an impressive demonstration on various flood rescue techniques and use of various improvised rafts made by using locally available resources for evacuation during flood disaster was also demonstrated during this exercise.

This Joint Field Training Exercise was conducted under the leadership of Shri Satya Narayan Pradhan, Director General, NDRF by NDRF officials. International observers from ICCROM, INSARAG, UNDP also attended the exercise. It was witnessed by representatives from Senior Officials of MHA, MEA, NDMA, NDRF, State representatives & other senior dignitaries.

In the series of this exercise, on 13th February 2020 a session of After Action Review (AAR) will be followed with “Priority Setting Meeting” which will be organized at hotel Mayfair, Puri, Odisha.

Issued By : PR Cell, NDRF HQ, New Delhi