India to host east Asia-India workshop on earthquake

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) India will play host to an international workshop on earthquake risk management beginning Thursday to build a regional framework along with east Asia to ensure that capacities are in place to tackle the natural calamity whenever it strikes.

The workshop, to be hosted here jointly by the Indian ministries of home and external affairs, is a follow-up of an announcement made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the sixth East Asian Summit held in Indonesia November 2011.

India had expressed its intention to hold the event this year, according to an official statement Wednesday.

The 'EAS-India Workshop 2012: Building a Regional Framework for Earthquake Risk Management' will be attended by officials of the National Disaster Management authorities of the 18 East Asia Summit (EAS) member-nations, including India.

Delegates from international organisations and officials and experts from various ministries, states and technical institutions from India will also participate in the workshop that will be inaugurated by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

The valedictory will be attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran Friday.

"The main objectives of the two-day workshop is to bring all EAS member countries together to discuss capacity-building using national response mechanisms and exchange views on regional response mechanisms following a major earthquake in the region," the release said.

It would also "discuss issues pertaining to the countries in the region to enable development of regional approach towards coordination of logistics, response, rescue, relief and recovery to minimise the impact on lives and assets".

"The workshop is also aimed at seeking synergies through increased dialogue and stakeholders participation at the regional level for sharing best practices and evolve a roadmap towards development of a regional emergency response to post-earthquake scenarios on establishment of clear channels of communication for international assistance," it added.

The event will also evolve strategy for training, capacity development and knowledge sharing in disaster management and disaster risk reduction.

It will also develop institutional framework for post-earthquake response and coordination in the region and way forward for strengthening collaboration between research and knowledge-based institutions in the region.