The Thimphu Thromde Disaster Management and Contingency Plan was endorsed by
the Thimphu Tshogde in May 2018. The plan was formulated in coordination with
Department of Disaster Management with funding from Save the Children and ECHO.
The formulation process included technical hazard assessments for Thimphu such as
Landslide inventory study, Vulnerability assessment of schools and health facilities; and
Flood hazard assessment, along with Community Based Disaster Risk Management
planning process in all the 7 Demkhongs of Thimphu Thromde.
The earthquake simulation exercise was conducted on November 10, 2018 to test the
coordination, response and reporting mechanisms outlined in the Thimphu Thromde.
Preparedness for Thimphu Thromde is crucial as it is the capital city with twenty
percent of Bhutan’s population and housing all important offices and agencies within its
Simulation exercises are designed to help us practice close to real scenarios that reveal
our gaps and afford us with opportunities to improve our procedures and
contingencies. The Thimphu simulation exercise was a mix of field level simulation and
a table-top exercise simulating emergency situations requiring medical, search and
rescue, fire and traffic response.
Also, as part of the Thimphu Thromde’s, the simulation exercise was to test the Incident Command System (ICS) that was put in place through an Executive Order by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in August 2017. Under ICS, Incident Management Teams have been formed for each Dzongkhag, Thromde, Dungkhag and Gewog to ensure a coordinated and effective response. The ICS demands a unified chain of command with clear protocol for communication and coordination, which would reduce duplication of efforts and reporting confusion. Lessons and recommendations from the exercise will support the update and finalization of the Thimphu Thromde.
More than 400 participants from various agencies such as the Royal Bhutan Police, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, DeSuung, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital, Faculty of Nursing and Public Health, Scouts, Schools, Communities (Norzin an Babesa) were involved in the simulation exercise as facilitators, simulators and observers.