Odisha achieves another milestone in disaster management; gets recognition from UNESCO

Bhubaneswar:  In yet another milestone achievement in disaster management, Odisha has again received recognition from  Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO for implementation of Tsunami Ready programme.  

Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Odisha has implemented the Tsunami Ready programme in two villages Venkatraipur in Ganjam district and Noliasahi in Jagatsingpur district. The National Board established by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, after the verification of implementation of the indicators at those villages as per guidelines, decided to recognize them nationally and recommended to UNESCO-IOC for the recognition.

Based on the National Board’s recommendations, UNESCO-IOC has approved the recognition of two communities -Venkatraipur and Noliasahi as Tsunami Ready Communities. With this recognition, India is the first country to implement Tsunami Ready in the Indian Ocean Region and Odisha is the first state.

To confer the UNESCO-IOC’s Certificate of Recognition and Certificate of Appreciation to Venkatraipur and Noliasahi communities, OSDMA Officials, a virtual event will be organised jointly by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS),  ICG/IOTWMS  Secretariat and Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Center (IOTIC) of UNESCO-IOC on August 7.

Chief Guest of the event Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) Secretary Dr M Rajeevan and  Member Secretary to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) GVV Sarma  will present the Certificates of Recognition and Appreciation to the two villages  and Officials of OSDMA.

  Tsunami Ready is a community performance-based programme, initiated by IOC of UNESCO to promote tsunami preparedness through active collaboration of public, community leaders, and national and local emergency management agencies.  The main objective of this programme is to improve coastal community’s preparedness for tsunami emergencies, to minimize the loss of life and property and to ensure a structural and systematic approach in building community preparedness through fulfilling the best-practice indicators set by the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) of UNESCO-IOC.

The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), INCOIS is the nodal agency to provide tsunami advisories to India. INCOIS is also providing tsunami advisories to Indian Ocean region (25 countries) as a Tsunami Service Providers as the responsibility assigned by IOC-UNESCO. To create awareness and preparedness about the tsunamis, INCOIS regularly organizes Tsunami Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) workshops, training sessions and seminars for state and district level Disaster Management Officials (DMOs) of the coastal states. ITEWC at INCOIS also conducts IOWave Tsunami mock exercises biannually in coordination with ICG/IOTWMS and conducts at National level mock exercises alternative years in coordination with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and State Disaster Management Agencies (SDMA) to strengthen the readiness to handle the emergency situations with stakeholders. The recent tsunami mock exercises i.e. IOWave18 (September 2018) and Multi State mega mock exercise (November 2017) were great examples on building a tsunami resilient community. To strengthen communities further, ITEWC-INCOIS coordinating with the DMOs for implementation of Tsunami Ready programme in India.

To implement and monitor the implementation of Tsunami Ready and IOWave Exercises in India, Ministry of Earth Sciences established a National Board under the chairmanship of Director, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Centre (INCOIS) with members drawn from Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Andaman & Nicobar Islands Directorate of Disaster Management (DDM) and INCOIS.


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