Earthquake simulated to test tsunami preparedness on East Coast

INCOIS making efforts to make vulnerable communities tsunami resilient

An earthquake of ‘M9.2’ was simulated at Andaman & Nicobar Islands as part of the tsunami mock drill in coordination with Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Odisha State Emergency Operation Centre with the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS ) here issuing the alert bulletins to stakeholders for evaluating the standard operating procedures and the communication media on Friday.

This is to commemorate the United Nations designated “World Tsunami Awareness Day” with 69 coastal communities/wards actively participating during the tsunami mock drill to test the tsunami ready indicators. “Tsunami science has been going through several important developments and it is important to strengthen downstream part, which we are taking as a challenge. Recent tsunamis through submarine landslides and volcanos other than quakes like in Indonesia in 2018 brought us another challenge,” said INCOIS director T. Srinivasa Kumar.

Recognition accorded to two villages of Odisha — Venkatraipur and Noliasahi as “Tsunami Ready” is just the beginning and INCOIS is putting more efforts to make all vulnerable communities as tsunami resilient communities through the “Tsunami Ready” programme in collaboration with the respective State disaster management authorities, he said.

The primary goal for the next decade is to emphasise and promote tsunami awareness and education for the coastal population and to enhance community resilience through education and outreach programmes. “We cannot control the occurrence of an earthquake even with state-of-arts technologies. However, we can definitely mitigate the possible disaster by taking adequate measures by improving community awareness and preparedness, like making people aware on how to respond to either natural warnings or official,” he explained.

During the day, about 70 schoolchildren from Bhashyam School visited the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) to understand the services as also science teachers of Zilla Parishad High School from Bachupally. A sensitisation webinar on “Tsunami Early Warnings” and “Tsunami Ready Programme” was conducted by the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA), said the director.

Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 claimed around 10,000 lives in India and around 2.30 lakh in surrounding countries. This one calamity, though rare, has shown the whole world how disastrous a tsunami can be as there was neither knowledge nor observation networks then. Since then, ITEWC was set up at INCOIS, the first state-of-the-art warning centre in Indian Ocean countries by the government, and ‘tremendous’ developments have been made in tsunami science.

ITEWC not only acts as a national warning centre, but also as a “Tsunami Service Provider” responsible to provide services to all Indian Ocean member States under the framework of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS), Dr. Kumar added.

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