IOWave18: India to participate in multi-nation Indian Ocean-wide tsunami mock exercise
India along with 23 other nations will be participating in major Indian ocean-wide tsunami mock exercise known as IOWave18. The exercise is being organized by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. It will involve evacuation of thousands of people from coastal areas in over half a dozen states.
The purpose of the exercise is to increase tsunami preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each state and improve coordination throughout the region. It is also aimed at enhancing tsunami preparedness at the community level. The exercise will simulate Indian Ocean countries being put in tsunami warning situation and require National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) i.e. National and Local Disaster Management Offices (NDMO/LDMO) to implement and test their communication links and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at all levels of warning chain. In this exercises, Hyderabad based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) will be nodal participating agency. It will be involved in evacuation of more than 1,25,000 people from coastal communities of Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Goa in this simulated tsunami warning situation.
IOC, the only UN body specialized in ocean science and services had coordinated in setting up of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of December 26, 2004 tsunami. Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), based out of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad. It is autonomous institution under Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. The state-of-the-art warning centre is operational since October 2007. It has all necessary computational and communication infrastructure for reception of real-time data from seismic and sea-level networks, tsunami modelling, as well as generation and dissemination of tsunami bulletins for entire Indian Ocean region (IOR).