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Chennai port cargo work halted for tsunami drill

All the cargo work at the Chennai port were stopped and all the ships were evacuated to the deep sea even as the working personnel were moved to an elevated area away from the shore as part of the massive mock drill conducted on the East Coast by the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) based at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) here on Friday.

The INCOIS authorities informed that all the all agencies/departments concerned were informed by their deputy conservator, Chennai Port Trust to take necessary action as per their standard operating procedure (SOP) for tsunami with emergency fire service and ambulance kept standby.

Around 8,000 people have participated actively in the exercise with as many as 6,500 people evacuated in Andhra Pradesh itself by A.P. State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA) and 10th Battalion of NDRF. People were moved to safe zones in nine coastal districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore.

In Tamil Nadu, from Orurkuppam village around 630 people and around 600 people from villages Panithittu and Madakadi of Puducherry were also evacuated with the help of 4th Battalion of NDRF Arakkonam. In Odisha, all the six coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam had participated in mock drill, they said.

At villages, the mock drill was to determine appropriate behaviour during tsunamis, areas to be evacuated and associated route maps as well as response and cooperation required with officials for safety measures.

Feedback received was “positive and satisfactory” after the drill with timely messaging, mails and fax improved at most locations though INCOIS was yet to receive full information from all,

Two groups of International observers from Pacific Island Countries containing 10 members in each group were present in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh respectively, to witness the mock drill and were said to be “very impressed” with tsunami preparedness and awareness at community level.
Source: The Hindu

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