In Pics: 4,000 people to take part in tsunami exercise

Muscat: PACDA has started deploying manpower and machinery in preparation for the start of the Indian Ocean Wave 18 exercise, which will be taking part in the Sahel region with the active participation of participation of about 4,000 people.

As Oman gets ready to take part in the Indian Ocean Wave 18, or tsunami simulation exercise, on Tuesday, the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has issued guidelines to be observed by local residents in and around the Sawadi Beach and the visitors, including media teams.

The exercise is being organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). According to official sources in PACA, public will be allowed to watch the exercises between 8 am and 5 pm if they follow Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the Public Authority for Civil Defence (PACDA) guidelines. PACDA is also taking part in the exercise.

A part of the Sawadi area in Barka will be evacuated to raise awareness of the risks of tsunami and enhance the preparedness for these conditions at the community levels, PACA said in a statement. The guidelines will be sent as a text message by phone with the necessary action. They are as follows: at the time of exercise if you are at sea in a boat, move to deep water; take shelter from the earthquake and then leave the house; make sure family members are safe and speed up evacuation; take care of children and elderly; go to the nearest assembly point; make sure family members are safe at the assembly point; follow evacuation route as per guidelines; if you find obstacles on the way, look for alternative route; in case a family member is injured, contact the Civil Defence.
The exercise, held every two years, is attended by all countries bordering Indian Ocean. It is activated by three countries — India, Indonesia and Australia. It will simulate a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Iran that will generate simulated tsunami waves travelling across the Indian Ocean basin towards the coast of the Sultanate in less than half an hour. The estimated height of the simulated wave will be about 12m, flooding the beaches at 6 am on Tuesday. The Sultanate has previously participated in this exercise to test its readiness with tsunami risks.
The Indian Ocean Wave 18 aims to confirm the preparedness and readiness of the Sultanate to face the risks of tsunami, assess and improve the effectiveness of the Indian Ocean tsunami warning and early warning system, test communication and standard operating procedures, strengthen emergency preparedness, raise community awareness of tsunami risks and enhance preparedness and self-evacuation of villagers from the dangers of tsunami.

Vinod Nair