KETI BANDAR, Oct 14: Hundreds of coastline dwellers rushed out of their mud-houses when sirens were sounded during a tsunami evacuation drill here on Wednesday.
Men, women and children gathered at a pre-determined point to move to a designated safe area during the drill held in over a dozen countries to prepare people to cope with a tsunami threat.
The drill titled ‘Exercise Indian Ocean Wave 2009’ was organised by the National Disaster Management Authority to mark the ‘international disaster reduction day’. The drill tested and evaluated the effectiveness of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS).
Amir Mohiuddin, NDMA’s director mitigation and preparedness, told reporters that a team of experts would stay in the area for a few days to create awareness among local people about the potential danger of tsunami. The same activity was simultaneously held in 17 other Unesco member countries along the Indian Ocean rim.
The main purpose was to test national standard operating procedures and operational lines of communications between the national tsunami warning centres, Japan Meteorological Association and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.
The exercise was recommended by the member states at the 5th session of the Inter-governmental Coordination Group for IOTWS held in Malaysia last year.
Pakistan was selected coordinator at a Jakarta meeting for the 18 countries of Indian Ocean rim on the basis of its experience during Gwadar tsunami evacuation drill held in July.