The 9th Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (27-30 November 2012 in Jakarta, Indonesia) decided to hold an Indian Ocean Wave Exercise in 2014 (IOWave14).
Exercise IOWAVE14 contains, for the first time in Indian Ocean exercises, two earthquake scenarios on successive days, 9 and 10 September 2014.
The purpose of exercise IOWave14 was to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the IOTWS, through its operational Regional Tsunami Service Providers, National Tsunami Warning Centres and National Disaster Management Organisations, in responding to a potentially destructive tsunami. The exercise provided an opportunity for Indian Ocean countries to test their operational lines of communications, review their tsunami warning and emergency response Standard Operating Procedures, and to promote emergency preparedness.
The exercise comprised of two scenarios on successive days, one in the eastern Indian Ocean and the other in the north-western Indian Ocean. The first scenario simulated a magnitude 9.1 earthquake south of Java, Indonesia. The South of Java scenario commenced at 0000 hours UTC on 9th September 2014. The second scenario simulated a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the Makran Trench south of Iran and Pakistan. The Makran Trench scenario commenced at 0600 hours UTC on 10th September. Both scenarios generated simulated tsunami waves travelling across the whole Indian Ocean basin.
Member States were invited to participate in either or both events, which will run in real time. The scenario start times was chosen to be more convenient for the “near field” (i.e. local) countries for each scenario. Participant countries followed the exercise timelines precisely or elected to exercise on their own timeline in order to achieve their particular objectives.
RTSPs India, Indonesia and Australia made exercise bulletins and detailed tsunami threat advice available on their password-protected websites during the events. The RTSPs issued an initial Exercise Announcement Message to start the exercise on each day. Thereafter, NTWCs received Notification Messages from the RTSPs according to the timelines, which directed NTWCs to the RTSP password-protected websites to view the detailed exercise bulletins and detailed threat information.
The timelines of the issuance of RTSP bulletins for both events were also given in the manual.
The Exercise Indian Ocean Wave 14 was conducted on 9 and 10 September 2014 to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of IOTWS and its operational TSPs, NTWCs, and Disaster Management Organizations (DMOs), in responding to potentially destructive tsunamis.
It also provided an opportunity for Indian Ocean countries to test their communication methods and review their SOPs, tsunami emergency response plans and tsunami emergency preparedness.
The exercise highlighted both the strengths and weaknesses of the IOTWS, identified areas requiring further attention, and provided a benchmark of the present status of the system.
The three (3) designated TSPs and twenty-four (24) Member States with designated Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFPs) participated, with two (2) countries taking the exercise down to the community level. Twenty-three (23) of the twenty-four (24) countries agreed that the exercise planning, conduct, format and style were satisfactory.
Fourteen (14) Member States participated in the Java scenario on day 1 and eighteen (18) Member States participated in the Makran scenario on day 2. Eight (8) Member States participated in both scenarios.