A major tsunami mock exercise (drill) IOWave18 was organized in the Indian ocean on September 4–5, 2018.
India, along with 23 other Indian Ocean Nations, participated in this exercise which was organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, which coordinated the setting up of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of the 26 December 2004 tsunami.
IOWave18 which was completed yesterday focused on a simulating an earthquake with magnitude of 9.3 at Northern Sumatra, Indonesia at 0830 IST.
All eastern coastal states participated till community level. The exercise is being conducted in real time lasting for around 12 hours and ITEWC will issue 15 tsunami bulletins in all,to both national and regional stakeholders through GTS, email, fax, SMS as well as on website.
In India, IOWave18 is being coordinated by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) with support from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Coastal States/UTs.
Overall over the 2-day exercise, all coastal states tested communication modes for receipt of bulletins from INCOIS.
The end-to-end warning system from tsunami detection and forecast, threat evaluation and alert formulation, alert dissemination to public and their awareness and response was put to test during this exercise. Where possible states participated up to community-level with practice evacuations. 44 Coastal Districts of 9 States/UTs are participated up to community level. Community level evacuations were carried out in around 375 villages. Over 125,000 people were evacuated during the exercise.
Major General (Retd) Dr. V.K. Naik, Senior Consultant, NDMA acted as the observer for this exercise and contacted the participating states down to community level to verify their receipt of bulletins and response.