2nd Integrated Intersessional Meetings of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS))
Over 80 officials from 18 Countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom and Yemen) are participating in the 2nd Integrated Tsunami Warning related meetings (26th June-14th July ’18) hosted at INCOIS and organised by the Secretariat for the ICG/IOTWMS based in Perth, Australia in association with the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The integrated session has four components that included training of officials for tsunami emergency maps, plans , procedure, meetings of core teams that handle tsunami warning activities etc. and the special workshop inaugurated today on ‘Tsunami Warning Centre Operations and Standard Operating Procedures for Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response’
Dignitaries presiding over the inaugural session included the chief guest Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, Dr. Madhavan Rajeevan, the Head of theIndian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System Secretariat, UNESCO, Australia, Dr. Srinivasa T. Kumar, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, , Dr Andi Eka Sakya and Head, Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre, UNESCO, Indonesia, Mr. Ardito Kodijat. After a warm welcome by Dr. Satheesh Shenoi, Director, INCOIS the dignitaries shared their viewpoints as follows-
Dr Andi Eka Sakya (Chair, the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for IOTWMS) stressed that though early warning provides tsunami related information and gives people time to take action before it becomes a disaster, the preparedness of the community at risk is much more vital . He emphasised that if the community at risk does not know what to do or how to respond to warnings or where to evade potential hazards, an advanced and sophisticated early warning system’s usefulness will be diminished.
Dr. Srinivasa T. Kumar (Head, UNESCO/IOC IOTWMS Secretariat, Australia) detailed how the Indian Oceaan Tsunami Warning System has progressed so far , starting from just a handful stations in 2004 to 140 Seismic Stations, 100 Sea level Stations and 09 Tsunameters with open data access allowing detection and monitoring of earthquakes and tsunamis in real time. He elaborated that though the Indian Ocean is much safer against the threat of tsunamis than it was in 2004, due to the nature of the hazard, it is important for the coastal communities to always be prepared and ready to respond.
Mr. Ardito Kodijat (Head, Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre, UNESCO office, Indonesia) reiterated that the main objective of these meetings and trainings, is to encourage all member states/countries to actively prepare their communities at-risk for the next imminent tsunami. He elaborated that this particular workshop will involve special training that will not only support to enhance and synergize the Standard Operating Procedures between the National-level Tsunami Warning Centres and Disaster Management Offices, but also will help both these entities to understand and guide the warning chain until it reaches the at-risk community.
Dr. Madhavan Rajeevan (Hon’ble Sectary , Ministry of Earth sciences, Govt. of India) in his inaugural address detailed how the Indian Tsunami Warning Centre at INCOIS, Hyderabad has made good progress as a Tsunami Warning Service Provider recognised by UNESCO. The Ministry of Earth Sciences will be providing support w.r.t. the imminent updating of the INCOIS Tsunami Communication System. He emphasised that public awareness and training along with such comprehensive workshops are important to ensure better preparedness at both international, national and local levels.
Pattabhi E. Rama Rao, Head of Tsunami and Storm Surge Early Warning Services Group (TWG)
and Ocean Observations and Data Management Group (ODG) at INCOIS gave the Vote of Thanks.