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UNESCO-IOC Tsunami-Ready Recognition to Odisha Communities

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    13th Aug, 2020

Odisha has achieved another milestone in disaster management. Venkatraipur in Ganjam and Noliasahi in Jagatsinghpur have been recognised by UNESCO-IOC as Tsunami-Ready Communities.

Context

Odisha has achieved another milestone in disaster management. Venkatraipur in Ganjam and Noliasahi in Jagatsinghpur have been recognised by UNESCO-IOC as Tsunami-Ready Communities.

About

  • The Indian Ocean Tsunami Ready Programme of IOC-UNESCO is a community performance-based programme.
  • It facilitates tsunami preparedness as an active collaboration of the community, community leaders, and national and local emergency management agencies.
  • The main objective of this programme is-
    • to improve coastal community preparedness for tsunami emergencies
    • to minimize the loss of life and property
    • to ensure structural and systematic approach in building community preparedness.
  • The Tsunami Ready program is implemented by the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA). 

Tsunami

  • A tsunami is a series of great sea waves caused by an underwater earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption.
  • More rarely, a tsunami can be generated by a giant meteor impact with the ocean.
  • A tsunami is not a single wave but a series of waves, also known as a wave train. The first wave in a tsunami is not necessarily the most destructive. Tsunamis are not tidal waves.

How Odisha is emerging as a role model?

  • The UNESCO recognition to Odisha is an outcome of the efforts of the government to promote tsunami preparedness through active collaboration of public, community leaders, and national and local emergency management agencies.
  • Odisha has emerged as a role model in disaster preparedness with decades of positive intervention by the government, civil society groups, and NGOs.
  • The state has won praise from numerous national and international organisations, including the United Nations, for its deft handling of cyclones Phailin and Fani.
  • Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) won the IT Excellence Award, 2019, for its innovative conception by using information technology in the field of disaster management.
    • The OSDMA was established in 1999, much before the Disaster Management Act was passed in 2005, and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) was constituted in 2001.

Significance of the recognition

  • Emerging as a role model: The recognition by the UNESCO is a great achievement for Odisha for their Tsunami preparedness. It would make Odisha a role model for tsunami preparedness. With this award, the state is motivated to make the balance 326 villages and urban local bodies Tsunami ready in a time period of one year.
  • International recognition: With this recognition, India becomes the first country to implement Tsunami Ready in the Indian Ocean Region and Odisha, the first state to achieve this feat.
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