Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Training session conducted at INCOIS on Tsunami SOP Workshop held at INCOIS, Hyderabad

The great Sumatra earthquake (Mw 9.1) of December 26, 2004, was rated as the world’s second largest recorded earthquake. This earthquake generated a devastating tsunami, which caused unprecedented loss of life and damage to property in the Indian Ocean rim countries. This prompted Government of India to take the pioneering step of establishing Indian Tsunami Early Warning System with the nerve centre based out of ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), an autonomous institute of Ministry of Earth Sciences.
The state-of-the-art Early Warning Centre established with all the necessary computational and communication infrastructure enables reception of real-time data from all the sensors, analysis of the data, generation and dissemination of tsunami advisories following a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Seismic and sea-level data are continuously monitored in the Early Warning Centre using a custom-built software application that generates alarms/alerts in the warning centre whenever a pre-set threshold is crossed. Tsunami warnings/alerts/ watches are then generated based on pre-set decision support rules and disseminated to the concerned authorities for action, following the SOP.
Regular Tsunami mock drills, Communication Tests and SOP Workshops are being conducted to ensure failsafe dissemination of advisories, development of SOPs and to enhance the preparedness and response of communities to tsunami warnings. The Multi State Mock Exercise for Tsunami will be scheduled to east coast of India (Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal) that will be jointly coordinated by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and INCOIS on November 24, 2017. This drill provides an opportunity for disaster management authorities to exercise their operational lines of communications, exercise their SOP, review their tsunami warning and emergency response procedures, and to promote emergency preparedness. Coincidently, ITEWC has completed its 10 years of establishment on October 15, 2017. 
In preparation for the Multi State Mock Exercise for Tsunami (November 24, 2017), INCOIS and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) jointly organised a Tsunami Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) workshop on November 08, 2017 at INCOIS, Hyderabad. Dr. S S C Shenoi, Director, INCOIS and Lt Gen N C Marwah, Member, NDMA inaugurated the workshop. Scientists from INCOIS and Senior Consultant from NDMA presented the lectures to the participants. The purpose of this workshop is to (i) familiarize the Disaster Management Officials of Coastal States/UTs with the tsunami bulletins issued by INCOIS, (ii) understand their tsunami preparedness, (iii) facilitate improvement of their SOPs and (iv) provide briefing on mock tsunami drill.

A total of 55 members from Disaster Management Offices (DMOs) of  Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal; NDMA, NDRF, Indian Navy, coast guards were participated in the workshop. A Tabletop exercise was conducted to the participants at the Tsunami Early Warning Centre. The major objective of the exercise was to familiarize the participants with the products of the warning centre, their response to the advisories and how they communicate them to the next level for an action to be taken. This exercise provided an opportunity to evaluate their SOPs for tsunami warnings.  
-Press note

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