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Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre provides services to 25 Indian Ocean countries

The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) was established at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad. An autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the centre is designed to provide timely tsunami advisories to all stakeholders.

Apart from the service its renders domestically,  ITEWC also provides tsunami services to 25 Indian Ocean Countries as part of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UNESCO framework.

INCOIS has introduced several innovative concepts in tsunami modeling, mapping of coastal inundation, Decision Support System, SOPs to meet the emerging challenges and provide accurate and timely tsunami early warnings.

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) established a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Strong Motion Accelerometers in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for quick and reliable estimation of source parameters for near-source earthquakes. In addition, INCOIS carried out Multi-hazard Vulnerability Mapping (MHVM) along the mainland of Indian coastland and an MHVM atlas has been created using the data.

The ITEWC regularly conducts workshops, training sessions and tsunami mock exercises to create awareness and preparedness about the tsunamis. In addition to workshops and training for disaster managers, ITEWC also coordinates with coastal States/UTs to implement a Tsunami Ready Programme – a concept introduced by UNESCO at a community level.

The Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources and Technology (O-SMART) Scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet in August 2018 and is implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It is an umbrella scheme which encompasses a total of 16 sub-projects addressing ocean development activities such as Services, Technology, Resources, Observations and Science.

The initiative aims to step-up ocean research and establish an early-warning weather system. It addresses ocean development activities such as services, technology, resources, observations and science. It also provides the necessary scientific and technological background required for the implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.

The centre aims to develop a wide range of state-of-the-art ocean observation systems for the acquisition of real-time data from the seas around India and to cater to the testing and sea trial activities of ocean technology. It will generate and disseminate a suite of user-oriented ocean information, advisories, warnings, data and data products for the benefit of society. Data and research will generate high-resolution models for ocean forecast and reanalysis systems as well as algorithms for validation of satellite data for coastal research and to monitor changes in the coastal research.

Such programmes are critical to national security and survival as the world has seen an increase in natural calamities and disasters. Government at all levels – central, regional and state – rely increasingly on dedicated systems for critical event management (CEM). According to world experts in Critical Event Management – Everbridge, these silos can create redundancies in information and processes, data contradictions and, in worst-case scenarios, greater loss of life and damages.

Without an integrated CEM platform, command centres and security teams will be unable to respond as quickly and as thoroughly as situations warrant. The inability to respond adequately takes a severe toll on life and property, which, in turn, adversely affects citizen confidence and the cost to the country.

With an integrated CEM platform, rapid, consolidated responses are more easily coordinated. Emergency teams and command centres receive threat alerts in advance, allowing them to identify, assess and locate the risks, affected assets and appropriate responders. A CEM platform can also automate communications and by using a public warning system, action plans, and SOPs, so response teams have immediate access to information and can act rapidly. Post-event analytics can pinpoint where bottlenecks and delays surfaced and how these could be mitigated in the future.

With the pandemic forecast to be around for some time, planning responses to severe weather events must continue alongside COVID-19 management. In light of this, it behoves governments to evaluate processes, systems, tools and platforms they have to respond to critical events.

October 28, 2020 | 10:30AM IST | 1:00PM SG/HKT | 4:00PM AEST


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