GIS – 03 September, 2018: Mauritius, along with 25 countries around the Indian Ocean Rim will participate on Tuesday 4 September 2018, in the mock tsunami exercise Indian Ocean Wave 2018 (IOWave18). The mock scenario will comprise tsunami waves generated by an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 on the Richter scale on the Makran Trench off the southern coast of Iran and propagate through the whole of the Indian Ocean.
IOWave18 aims at evaluating and improving effectiveness of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. This exercise will also help identify operational strengths and weaknesses in Mauritius. It will begin at 1000 hours local time and will end two hours after the last tsunami waves have passed the region of Mauritius. Rodrigues and Agaléga will also participate in the exercise.
IOWave18 builds on previous Indian Ocean exercises conducted in 2009 (IOWave09), 2011 (IOWave11), 2014 (IOWave14) and 2016 (IOWave16), including local tsunami warning exercises carried in Mauritius. During the 2018 exercise, the three Tsunami Service Providers of Australia, India and Indonesia will issue simulated tsunami threat information to all National Tsunami Warning Centres in the Indian Ocean region.
The Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS), which is the National Tsunami Warning Centre for Mauritius, will then evaluate the information and formulate test national tsunami warnings, which will be disseminated to the National Emergency Operations Command (NEOC)/National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (NDRRMC), the Police Information and Operations Room and the public through the media, MBC and Private radios. Local Authorities and local organisations including the Mauritius Ports Authority, AHRIM, NGOs and Coastal communities are also participating.
The Tsunami Warning System in place in Mauritius is a three tier warning: Tsunami Watch; Tsunami Warning; and Termination.
During the exercise, the NEOC/NDRRMC will test its capabilities to respond at national level to a potential tsunami and will coordinate the overall activities with all stakeholders regarding response and evacuation if necessary.
Once the exercise is over, a review and evaluation will be conducted by all participating organisations and agencies. This constitutes an essential element in the routine maintenance of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System as well as the local Tsunami Warning System in place in Mauritius. The objective is to ensure the timely and effective notification of tsunamis, educate communities at risk about safety preparedness, and improve the overall coordination.
The Indian Ocean Wave (IOWAVE) exercise is carried out in the second week of September every two years. The purpose of the Indian Ocean-wide exercise is to increase tsunami preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each country and improve coordination throughout the region. It will also evaluate all levels of the tsunami warning and response chain, with a primary focus on the local coastal community level.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org