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SCO states conclude disaster relief drill


08:10, June 17, 2013

HANGZHOU, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Rescue and medical workers from the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) took part in a joint disaster relief drill from Tuesday to Sunday in Shaoxing City in east China's Zhejiang Province.

Four rescue teams from Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan respectively, three earthquake search and rescue teams with heavy equipment and two medical teams from China's fire department, took part, said China's Ministry of Civil Affairs.

A total of 1,000 people joined the drill, which was organized by China's ministries of Civil Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Public Security, as well as the Zhejiang provincial government.

It was set in an imaginary scenario in which a big city in China is jolted by 8.0-magnitude earthquake, with heavy casualties, serious damage to buildings, and secondary disasters like fire, explosions and chemical leaks. In the scenario, due to lack of rescue forces, China asked member states of the SCO to provide emergency aid.

Rescue teams joining the drill successfully accomplished more than 10 relief tasks in the highly-simulated scenario, showing the high level of coordinated command and action of the SCO members states.

Li Liguo, minister of civil affairs, said on Sunday that the drill is the fulfillment of an agreement on mutual emergency aid among governments of SCO member states, adding that it will strengthen mutual understanding and promote improvement of the command and coordination mechanism for disaster relief.

Officials from the member states also attended a symposium on emergency disaster relief in big cities on the sidelines of the joint drill.

It was the SCO's second joint drill for disaster relief work, with the first having been held in 2009 in Russia.

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