Tsunami Current Affairs

Home Ministry conducts Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) conducted Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017 along the entire East Coast in 31 coastal districts across four States.

It was conducted through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). The exercise was one of various activities conducted as part of observation of 2nd World Tsunami Awareness Day (observed on November 5).

Key Facts

The exercise was simultaneously conducted in 31 coastal districts across four States – West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (UT) along entire East Coast. It aimed to assess and help improve preparedness, response mechanism and coordination among concerned agencies.

It was for first time entire eastern coast will participate simultaneously in mock exercise. During it, disaster scenario simulating tsunami waves originating due to high-intensity earthquake near Andaman and Nicobar Islands causing massive tsunami along east coast of India was created.

Officials from all important departments such as Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police, health, education, firefighting, Civil Defense, electricity, transport, public relations, etc. participated in the exercise. The exercise helped participants to get familiarise with their responsibilities, actions required and also helped them to evaluate their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for tsunami warnings.

Participants from 11 Pacific Island countries also observed exercise to take away key lessons and best practices for responding to disaster situation due to Tsunami.

Background

Tsunami is a highly devastating natural hazard, and requires rapid response. India’s eastern coast is susceptible to both floods and tsunamis. The eastern coast of India had faced the devastating tsunami in December 2004 that claimed around 230000 lives. The devastating tsunami in Indian Ocean was formed due to high-intensity earthquake with its epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.  It had affected lives and the natural environment in six countries in the region including India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Thailand.

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November 5: World Tsunami Awareness Day

The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November 2016 to spread awareness among people across the world about Tsunami.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had constituted the day by adopting a resolution in December 2015. The proposal was first mooted by Japan after the 3rd UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai (Japan) in March 2015.

2016 Theme:Effective Education and Evacuation Drills”.

Significance of the Day

  • Spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami.
  • Stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the devastating natural calamity.

Background

November 5 was designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day by UNGA to coincide with the annual anniversary of the 1854 Inamura-no-hi (Fire of Inamura) event. On this day in 1854, a villager in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan through his quick action had saved countless lives after he had set fire to sheaves of rice on the top of a hill, thus warning people of the imminent danger of a tsunami. This was the first documented instance of a tsunami early warning.

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