Disaster Managament Current Affairs

IMMSAREX: IONS’s maiden maritime search and rescue exercise will be held in November 2017

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium’s (IONS) maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) will be held in November 2017 in the Bay of Bengal under the chairmanship of Bangladesh.

The ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS including China, India and Pakistan will participate in the exercise. In addition, Bangladesh is also scheduling to host “extraordinary conclave of Chiefs,” a meeting of chiefs of Navy of IONS members before it hands over the Chair to Iran.

Comment

The side-by-side participation of the Indian and Chinese Navies in IMMSAREX exercise will come amid growing India’s skepticism of Chinese naval activities in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) and establishment of China’s first overseas base at Djibouti. India has considerably expanded its engagement with countries to further its own interests as well as to check the rapid expansion of Chinese naval forays in the IOR. Other countries in the region are also engaged in rapid expansion of their military capabilities.

About Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

The IONS is a regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India in February 2008. It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

It endeavors to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on the way ahead.These states are represented by the heads of their navies.

Under the IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and maritime security (anti-piracy).

Members to IONS

There are 35 members – navies of the IONS which have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions:

  • South Asian Littorals: India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka
  • West Asian Littorals: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen
  • East African Littorals: Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eriteria, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania
  • South East Asian and Australian Littorals:  Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste.
  • Observer Countries: China, Japan etc.

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Country’s First Automatic Coastal Warning for Disasters to come up in Odisha

From July, Odisha will commission the ambitious Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) to warn the vast population residing along its 480 km-long coast in the event of the occurrence of natural disasters like a tsunami or a cyclone. Andhra Pradesh is also reportedly developing such system to alert the people in case of natural calamities.

Salient Highlights

The warning can be disseminated just by pressing a single button from a control room in the State capital in the event of the occurrence of natural disasters. It would trigger loud sirens simultaneously from towers at 122 locations including tourist destinations, fish landing centres and coastal habitations situated across the state. The sound emanating from the towers can be heard in localities up to a radius of 1.5 km. Thus, Odisha become the first state to have developed an automatic public address system that can be activated across the state. 

The towers will be installed in 22 blocks under six coastal districts such as Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam

The EWDS comprises of Satellite-Based Mobile Data Voice Terminals (SBMDVT), Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), Mass Messaging System (MMS) and Universal Communication Interface (UCI) for inter-operability among different communication technologies.

The project at an estimated cost of ₹ 82 crore will be implemented with assistance from the World Bank.

The EWDS will help the people to move to safer places before government agencies commenced evacuation.

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