The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, will be simulating two earthquakes, one at the Nicobar Islands on October 4 and another off the coast of Iran on October 11 under the ‘IOWave23’ exercise as part of the mock drill to test for tsunami disaster on both the east and west coasts.

Director T. Srinivasa Kumar informed on Wednesday that regular exercises are important for maintaining readiness of various stakeholders from the government (national, State and local) to community level for the ‘real’ events since tsunamis require rapid response.

The mock exercise will provide an opportunity for disaster management organisations to test their operational lines of communication, review their tsunami warnings including from those occurring due to landslides and volcanos and emergency response standard operating procedures, and promote emergency preparedness, he said.

Mr. Srinivasa Kumar was addressing participants at the inauguration of the two-day pre-IOWave23 workshop on ‘Tsunami Standard Operating Procedure’ which began at INCOIS in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Participants from coastal States and others like the Coast Guard, Defence ministry, Airports Authority of India, Shipping, Maritime Board, fisheries, etc., will be familiarised with the tsunami bulletins issued by INCOIS, facilitate improvement of their SOPs, briefing on mock tsunami exercise and so on. NDMA member Lt. Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain through a video-link from Delhi pointed out that tsunami warnings had an impact on the entire Indian ocean region, hence there was a need to update preparedness.

Odisha nodal officer for tsunami preparedness Sunitha Jena said there had been 10,000 deaths during the 2004 December 26 tsunami in the State and many programmes were being taken up to be prepared for any such disaster again as 381 villages were found to be vulnerable. Mock drills were being held at the community level and efforts were on to make more villages tsunami ready apart from two which got the status.

INCOIS Group Director T. M. Balakrishnan Nair said not a single false alarm had been issued ever since the tsunami warning centre was set up in 2007 here. Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) Secretariat of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)-UNESO Nora Gale and INCOIS scientist B. Ajay Kumar spoke