India will bethe part of a major Indian Ocean-wide tsunami mock drill starting from September 7-8 during which thousands of people would be evacuated from the coastal areas in over half a dozen states and warning and also detection systems will be put to test.
This massive exercise, which will see the participation from 23 other Indian Ocean nations, would involve the evacuation of around 35,000 people from various coastal communities, mostly in Odisha and also in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala and Goa.
The end-to-end warning systems – from the tsunami detection and forecast, dissemination to the public and their awareness and responses and also threat evaluation and alert formulation – would be put to test during the mock drill.
‘IOWave16’ is organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO, which will further coordinate the setting up of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of the December 26, 2004 tsunami.
IOWave16 will be comprised of two scenarios: the first will simulate an earthquake of magnitude of 9.2 south off Sumatra, Indonesia, on September 7 at 0830 IST, whereas the second will simulate an earthquake with a magnitude of 9 in the Makran Trench south of Iran and Pakistan on September 8 (1130 IST).
Both will be further conducted in real time lasting for about 12 hours and ITEWC will issue 15 tsunami bulletins to national as well as regional stakeholders through the GTS (global telecommunication system), email, SMS, fax as well as web.
The major objectives of the IOWave16 include testing the efficiency of the communication links, disaster management offices and local communities at the risk.