NEW DELHI: Over three lakh people lost lives in SCO countries in natural calamities in two decades beginning 1996 while two lakh of them died due to earthquakes, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday
Shah called for a greater cooperation among member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to deal with natural disasters more effectively. The grouping comprises China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Shah said disaster response agencies of member countries should not only formulate standard operating procedures but also lay down guidelines for post-disaster responses.
“From 1996 to 2015, about three lakh people have lost their lives from natural calamities in SCO countries. Over two lakh people have lost their lives from earthquakes. The SCO countries, thus, need to find a way out of the calamity of earthquakes,” Shah said at the SCO Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue 2019.
Approximately 40% of the global population live in SCO countries, and the region spearheads the world’s fastest-growing economies, he asserted.
“If we manage to prevent our countries from such disasters, it will have positive effects at the global level.”
SN Pradhan, director-general of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the agency hosting the event, said, the aim was to also provide an opportunity to enhance coordination and co-operation involving multi-agency operations in an earthquake scenario.
Partnering SCO, disaster agencies and representatives of member countries brainstormed on methods to mitigate the impact of natural calamities.