The Ministry of Home Affairs through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) would be conducting a multi-State mega mock exercise on tsunami preparedness on 24 November 2017.
The exercise will be simultaneously conducted in 31 coastal districts across four States including West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and Union Territory Puducherry along with the entire Eastern Coast.
• The disaster scenario will simulate tsunami waves originating due to a high-intensity earthquake near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which will lead to a massive tsunami along the East Coast.
• Participants from 11 Pacific Island countries will observe the entire exercise to take away key lessons and best practices to be adopted while preparing for a disaster situation.
• The exercise is one of the various activities planned on the occasion of the 2nd World Tsunami Awareness Day, which was observed on 5 November.
• The first activity was an orientation conference that was held on 8 November, which was held to ensure the smooth facilitation of the exercise.
• This was followed by coordination conferences and table-top exercises at various State Emergency Operation Centres (SEOCs) where all the involved districts participated through videoconferencing.
• These exercises helped familiarise participants with their responsibilities, actions required and helped them evaluate their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for tsunami warnings in the run-up to the exercise.
• The preparatory meetings saw participation from officials of all important departments including Army, Navy, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), health, police, education, fire fighting, Civil Defence, transport, electricity and public relations.
A tsunami or tidal wave is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean.
It is a highly devastating natural hazard, which requires rapid response when it occurs as the reaction time is limited.
India's eastern coast is prone to both floods and tsunamis and many coastal districts have conducted similar mock exercises for better preparedness over the years.
This is, however, the first time that the entire eastern coast will participate in a mock exercise simultaneously.
Workings of the exercise
A two-hour reaction time has been planned in this scenario during which the entire State machinery will be mobilised in a defined manner to respond swiftly and efficiently.
Evacuation drills will also be rehearsed at selected sites. This exercise aims to assess and help improve the preparedness, response mechanism and coordination among concerned agencies.
Who: Home Ministry