Indian Ocean nations in tsunami test next week: UN

The exercise, organised by Unesco, will simulate two earthquakes, one from south of Indonesia and the other from the Makran Trech, south or Iran


24 countries, spanning from Australia to South Africa, will take part in a Unesco exercise to tackle Tsunami like disasters. Photo: Reuters
24 countries, spanning from Australia to South Africa, will take part in a Unesco exercise to tackle Tsunami like disasters. Photo: Reuters

Paris: A decade after the strongest tsunami in living memory, 24 countries spanning from Australia to South Africa will take part in a UN-backed simulation exercise next week to test their capacity to forecast and tackle similar disasters.

The exercise, organised by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), will simulate a 9.1-magnitude earthquake south of the Indonesian island of Java beginning 9 September.

A second 9.0-magnitude quake will be simulated at the Makran Trench south of Iran and Pakistan.

“Both scenarios will simulate tsunami waves travelling across the Indian Ocean,” UNESCO said in a statement.

The test is designed to examine an Indian Ocean tsunami warning system put in place after the 24 December, 2004 disaster which killed over 230,000 people, displaced more than one million people, and left a massive trail of destruction along the coasts of the affected countries.

It will check the efficiency of communication flows between the 24 countries, general readiness and the efficiency of emergency procedures.

Many of the countries involved will also stage evacuation exercises for coastal population.

An evaluation will be conducted after the exercise to identify gaps and weaknesses in the system.

The participating countries are Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, East Timor, the French overseas department of La Reunion, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Yemen.

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