Odisha becomes first state to get ‘Tsunami Ready’ tag

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has become the first state in the Indian Ocean region to get two coastal villages ‘tsunami ready’, said an official on Thursday. This also makes the country to become the first in the Indian Ocean region to achieve the honour.

Venkatraipur (Boxipalli) village of Rangeilunda block under Ganjam district and Noliasahi village of Ersama block under Jagatsinghpur district have been acknowledged by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO for greater preparedness to face the tsunami disaster.

In a virtual event on Friday, ‘Certificate of Recognition’ will be handed over to the communities of Venkatraipur and Noliasahi as Tsunami Ready villages, informed the official.

The virtual event will be organised by Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) Secretariat in Perth, Australia and the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Pradeep Jena, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) Managing Director will receive the certificate from UNESCO.

Their Board had visited these two villages in December last year. They evaluated the readiness criteria and upon being satisfied had recommended UNESCO-IOC to accord the tag, said Jena.

OSDMA has implemented the Tsunami Ready programme in the state.

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Ready Programme of IOC-UNESCO is a community performance-based programme that facilitates tsunami preparedness as an active collaboration of the community, community leaders, and national and local emergency management agencies.

The main objective of this programme is to improve coastal community preparedness for tsunami emergencies, to minimise the loss of life and property and to ensure structural and systematic approach in building community preparedness.

OSDMA has taken various preparedness activities for managing tsunami disasters in the coastal area.

Disaster Management Plans at a different level have been prepared to address Tsunami disasters. Regular tsunami mock drills are being conducted in the tsunami-prone villages as a part of International Tsunami Drills and National Tsunami drills.

The Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) for last-mile connectivity has been set up in the tsunami-prone villages. This system addresses the existing gap for disseminating tsunami warning up to the community level.

The recognition by the UNESCO is a great achievement for Odisha for their Tsunami preparedness. It would make Odisha a role model for tsunami preparedness. With this award, the state is motivated to make the balance 326 villages and urban local bodies Tsunami ready in a time period of one year, the official said.

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