23 Indian Ocean countries including India is all set to participate in a major Indian Ocean Wide Tsunami Mock drill on September 7-8 to test warning and detection systems. A tsunami warning was simulated with an earthquake of magnitude 9.2 south of Sumatra, Indonesia in the eastern Indian Ocean at 8.30 a.m. The end-to-end warning systems- from tsunami detection and forecast, threat evaluation and alert formulation, dissemination to public and their awareness and responses- would be put to test during the mock drill, officials said. Read the full report here.
‘IOWave16’, the two-day mock drill is being organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO, which coordinated the setting up of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of the December 26, 2004 tsunami. The massive exercise, which will see participation from 23 other India ocean countries, would involve evacuation of around 35,000 people from the coastal communities mostly in Odisha and Andaman and Nicobar islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala and Goa.
Authorities in Andhra Pradesh have selected a village each in nine coastal districts for evacuation as part of the exercise to check the preparedness. The important objectives of ‘IOWave16’ include testing the efficiency of communication links, disaster management offices and local communities at risk. The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), based out of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) here is capable of detecting tsunami earthquakes within 10 minutes of their occurrence and issue timely advisories to disaster management officials as well as to the vulnerable communities.
On Thursday that will be the second day of the exercise, agencies involved will simulate a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the Makran Trench, south of Iran and Pakistan, in the northwestern Indian Ocean. Both exercise will be conducted in real time lasting for 12 hours and ITEWC will issue 15 tsunami bulletins to both national and regional stakeholders through GTS (global telecommunication system) email, fax, SMS, as well as web.