“Tsunami preparedness at a low ebb now’’

Tsunami mock drill in progress at Pillachavadi, in Puducherry.

Tsunami mock drill in progress at Pillachavadi, in Puducherry.   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou


Scientists cautioned against growing slack in tsunami preparedness ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26 that led to massive loss of lives and caused extensive damage along the coast of India.

Delegates from the scientific community in India and abroad had gathered here for IOTSUNAMI 2014: A decade after the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Status and Experiences, an international conference organised by the Department of Civil Engineering, Pondicherry Engineering College and the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa from December 10-13.

Speaking at the valedictory function of the conference, Dr. N. P. Kurian, Director, National Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, asked if the initial response had slowed in the years following the tsunami.

“The tsunami woke up the scientists and academics. We are now equipped to meet any future case of a tsunami. We have moved forward in 10 years with the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre, and have had successful trial runs of the system. But now as we reach the 10th anniversary, are we going back into slumber?” he said, adding that the ‘Numerical Modelling’ in tsunami studies needed more work.

Dr. Jaya Kumar Seelam, Principal Scientist, NIO Goa, and Organising Secretary, IOTSUNAMI 2014, also reiterated that the pace of tsunami research and preparedness levels had been slowing after its peak from 2005 to 2007.

“Only a handful of institutions and a handful of scientists are working on tsunami research today,” he said. Professor Asano Toshiyuki of Kagoshima University, Japan, called for cooperation in the field of tsunami research and exchange of information.

The conference had 42 institutions contributing to the papers presented, including 8 international authors.

21 papers presented

From the 21 papers presented at the conference and inputs, the organisers have planned to publish a document on post-disaster management activities, mitigation measures and the lacunae that exists today in tsunami preparedness.

The papers will also be published in scientific journals. On Saturday, delegates visited the tsunami-affected areas to assess measures taken in the aftermath of the disaster and examine risk reduction steps in these areas.

The valedictory function was attended by T. Karikalan, Director, Directorate of Higher and Technical Education and Professor D. Govindaraju, Principal, PEC.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 12:38:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/tsunami-preparedness-at-a-low-ebb-now/article6690660.ece

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