A mock tsunami ensuing a 9.2 magnitude earthquake will cross the north-west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, between 6.30 am and 5.30 pm IST on Wednesday followed by an Indian ocean wide tsunami and ultimately strike the coast of South Africa.
All this will be part of the "Exercise IOWAVE 11" under which events of December 26, 2004, will be re-established.
"India, along with 20 Indian Ocean nations, is participating in a major Indian ocean-wide mock tsunami drill on October 12, 2011 aimed at testing the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS). The drill aims to evaluate the system's operational capacity, the efficiency of communications among the different concerned actors, and the state of preparation of national emergency services," a press release from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (Incois) said on Tuesday.
The simulated wave will cross the Indian Ocean in 12 hours to strike the coast of South Africa, it said. The test will also include the evacuation of coastal communities in several countries, notably India and Malaysia.
During the drill, that will take place between 6.30 am to 5.30 pm IST on October 12, ITEWC will generate and issue 15 tsunami bulletins to both its national and regional (IOTWS) contacts through GTS, email, fax, SMS as well as web.
National participants in the drill include NDMA, MHA, Disaster Management Offices of all coastal states/UTs, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy and critical coastal installations (ports, power plants, SHAR, etc). .
The drill, being organized under the auspices of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, will also see responsibility for Indian Ocean tsunami advisories handed over to the Regional Tsunami Advisory Service Providers (RTSPs) of the region (India, Australia and Indonesia). At the national level, this drill is being coordinated by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
During the drill, evacuation of coastal communities is also being planned in select villages in Puducherry, Maharashtra and a few other states/UTs, the Incois said.
The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), at Incois in Hyderabad, is one of the RTSPs in the IOTWS setup.
"Starting from October 12, 2011, ITEWC along with other RTSPs (Australia & Indonesia), will take over the responsibility of providing tsunami bulletins to Indian Ocean member countries. Currently these bulletins are being provided by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and will continue till the end of 2012, at which time the evaluation of the new regional advisory service will be carried out," the Incois release added.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will mark the "transition of responsibility" for the tsunami warning system with a video address to the authorities of Australia, India and Indonesia at 12 noon