India backs immediate visas for disaster response teams

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ADVOCATING A SYSTEMUnion Home Minister Sushilkumar Shindephoto:pti
ADVOCATING A SYSTEMUnion Home Minister Sushilkumar Shindephoto:pti

India on Thursday advocated an effective international coordination system to facilitate immediate visa and airport facilitation for disaster relief and rescue teams. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said there was a need to lay down a system for effective coordination of international assistance following earthquakes.

“A common understanding of procedures and protocol for the assistance would be a valuable step forward. It should include a system whereby search and rescue teams should get visa and airport facilitation on an immediate basis,” he said addressing the East Asia Summit Workshop on Earthquake Risk Management.

Shinde said medical assistance should be sent to the disaster affected areas without delay, specially to areas where injuries and victims were reported. Supply of food and clothes should be facilitated after clearly establishing the nature of requirements.

“We can benefit a lot from practical ‘hands on’ understanding among the countries about how to channel humanitarian assistance,” he said. The Home Minister said disaster management authorities should assess earthquake risks with greater precision.

“Though we cannot forecast earthquake, we should have a clear idea about the regions which can expect earthquakes of a certain magnitude and intensity,” he said.

Shinde said the building codes and regulations can be adapted and other preparedness measures can also be taken on the basis of credible earthquake scenarios.PTI



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