Tsunami disaster management exercises

A tsunami or tidal wave, also known as a seismic sea wave, is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake.

Different exercises for disaster management are:

• IOWave16

will test the standard operating procedures of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System and is designed to assess the effectiveness of communication flows between operational centres and stakeholders, emergency procedures and country readiness, according to the IOC.

The exercise will include community evacuation drills in at least 10 countries, involving over 50,000 participants, and will comprise two scenarios.

The first drill will simulate an earthquake on 7 September with a magnitude of 9.2 south of Sumatra, Indonesia. The second drill on 8 September will simulate an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 in the Makran Trench south of Iran and Pakistan. While the first drill will involve the east coast, India’s west coast will be part of the second drill.

Operations will begin when the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre and the Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System issue alert notifications to the 24 countries concerned. Simulating tsunami waves travelling across the Indian Ocean, both exercises will be conducted in real time lasting about 12 hours.

In India, massive community-level evacuations will be carried out in about 350 villages involving some 35,000 participants from coastal communities mostly in Odisha, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat and Goa.

In Sri Lanka, 14 villages will be evacuated, involving some 7,000 participants. In Oman, eight schools and about 8,000 students will take part in simulated evacuations.

• Mock exercise on Tsunami

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a mock exercise in Puducherry to assess the preparedness and response mechanism of the Union Territory administration in the event of a flood or a tsunami.

With a coastline of about 45 kilometres, stretching mostly along the Bay of Bengal, Puducherry is susceptible to both floods and tsunamis. The region was one of the worst affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.

The mock exercise was conducted on the principle of Incident Response System (IRS), which identifies stakeholders and clearly attributes roles and responsibilities to each one of them. It helps in systematically responding to an incident by reducing confusion and chaos.

The National Disaster Guidelines significantly focuses on Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness for a disaster situation. In its efforts towards improving the management of a disaster situation, NDMA regularly conducts such mock exercises across the country.

Practice question:

1. Which of the following statement related to the tsunami is correct?
1. Tsunami can be generated when the sea floor abruptly deforms and vertically displaces the overlying water.
2. Tsunamis have a small amplitude (wave height) offshore, and a very long wavelength.
3. The speed of tsunami waves depends on ocean depth.

Codes:

a) 1 and 2

b) 2 and 3

c) Only 1

d) All

Ans: d
A tsunami or tidal wave, also known as a seismic sea wave, is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake

Tsunami can be generated when the sea floor abruptly deforms and vertically displaces the overlying water.

Tsunamis cause damage by two mechanisms: the smashing force of a wall of water travelling at high speed, and the destructive power of a large volume of water draining off the land and carrying a large amount of debris with it, even with waves that do not appear to be large.