ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 24th Oct, 2020) The UAE, represented by the National Center of Meteorology, NCM, was joined by countries from around the Indian Ocean region in the mock tsunami scenario "Makran Trench" on 20 October, 2020 along with other relevant national entities and stakeholders including the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA.
The purpose of this Indian Ocean-wide exercise was to increase tsunami preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each country and improve coordination across the region through carrying out an exercise to test the tsunami warning and response chain.
"The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and subsequent events in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have brought to the attention of the world the urgent need to be more prepared for such events," said Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous. "This important exercise will test the current procedures of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System and help identify operational strengths and challenges in each country."
He added: "We see this exercise as an essential element in the routine maintenance of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, as our goal is to ensure the timely and effective notification of tsunamis, to educate communities at risk about safety preparedness, and to improve our overall coordination. We will evaluate what works well, where improvements are needed, make necessary changes, and continue to practice."
During the exercise the three Indian Ocean Tsunami Service Providers, TSPs, of Australia, India and Indonesia provided simulated tsunami threat information to all National Tsunami Warning Centres, NTWCs, in the Indian Ocean region. Each NTWC evaluated the information and formulated test national tsunami warnings, which will be disseminated to the disaster response agencies participating in the exercise.
NCM provides several authorities in the UAE with reports on seismic activities along the Makran Trench, to north of the Arabian Sea and Oman Sea to alert them when the region triggered by strong earthquake, especially the east coast of UAE to deal with the risk of tsunami of earthquakes observed with magnitude over 6.5 on Richter Scale within the area bounded by latitudes of 20-26.1 degree north and longitudes of 56-69.5 degree east.
As part of its drive to prevent the damage of tsunami, NCM supports the efforts to strengthen tsunami early warning systems in the countries of the North West Indian Ocean regions including the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman through its participation in projects linking seismic networks, GPS stations and sea level measuring stations. It also seeks to save people and protect assets against tsunami risk through sharing risk data, contributing to joint studies, sharing expertise in areas related to risk assessment, as well as participating in capacity-building framework that aims to create a unified tsunami risk map in the North Indian Ocean - Arabian Sea region.
In collaboration with the concerned authorities, NCM seeks to raise awareness about the risks of natural disasters on the country, and educate the communities, especially those living in areas prone to tsunami, on how to act on the early warning information. Additionally, it shares valuable data that enhances our understanding of tsunami risk, receives warnings from Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Center and shares it with NCEMA after assessment. This allows relevant authorities to collaborate in assessing tsunami risk especially on the country’s east coast region.
Following the exercise, a review and evaluation will be conducted by all participating countries and agencies.
The exercise is in the Work Plan of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, ICG/IOTWMS. ICG/IOTWMS is a body of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
NCM is a member of the World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, its executive council, the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, the Tropical Cyclone Committee for Indian Ocean, the Executive Office of the Council of Arab Ministers for Meteorology and Climate Affairs, the Permanent Arab Meteorological Organisation, and the Regional Association II, RA II, ASIA of the WMO.