Paris: More than 20 nations will participate in a full-scale exercise on Oct 12 to test the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System.The "Exercise IOWAVE 11" will re-enact the events of Dec 26, 2004, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake off the northwest coast of Sumatra (Indonesia), followed by an ocean-wide tsunami, reported Xinhua.
This simulated wave will cross the Indian Ocean in 12 hours to strike the coast of South Africa, which calls bulletins issued by the system of new regional tsunami service providers (RTSPs) as well as the regional integrated multi-hazard early warning system (RIMES) and the interim advisory service providers, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC).
According to Unesco, the exercise aims to evaluate the system`s operational capacity, the efficiency of communications among the different actors, and the state of preparation of national emergency services. The test will also include the evacuation of coastal communities in several countries, notably India and Malaysia.
On the day of the exercise, Unesco`s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission will also hand over the responsibility for the tsunami warning system to the countries of the region. The transition ceremony will be marked by a video address of Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova to the authorities of Australia, India and Indonesia, key locations of RTSPs.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS) initiated after the 2004 tsunami became partially operational in 2005. Since then, bulletins have been issued to 28 Indian Ocean nations by the JMA and PTWC.
An evaluation of the new regional advisory service will be carried out in the end of 2012.