07 October 2009

Sri Lanka among 18 Countries Around Indian Ocean Rim to Take Part in a Tsunami Exercise

07th October 2009, colombotoday.com

Eighteen countries around the Indian Ocean Rim, including Sri Lanka, will take part in an ocean-wide tsunami exercise on October 14 to coincide with World Disaster Reduction Day.

The exercise will, for the first time, test and evaluate the effectiveness of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, established after the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004.

It will identify weaknesses and areas for improvement and will aim to increase preparedness and improve coordination throughout the region, a UNESCO statement said.

The exercise scenario will replicate the magnitude 9.2 earthquake that occurred off the northwest coast of Sumatra, Indonesia in 2004, generating a destructive tsunami affecting countries from Australia to South Africa.

The simulated tsunami will spread in real time across the entire Indian Ocean, taking approximately 12 hours to travel from Indonesia to the coast of South Africa.

Bulletins will be issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which have served as the interim advisory services since 2005.

The bulletins will be sent to the focal points in the National Tsunami Warning Centres responsible for tsunami response in the countries concerned.

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