Indian Ocean Wave Tsunami Exercise 2016

The 10th Session of the ICG/IOTWMS in Muscat, Oman established a Task Team to organize the Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise in 2016 (IOWave16). Exercise IOWave16 contained two earthquake scenarios on successive days, 7 and 8 September 2016 with both scenarios run in real-time.

Exercise IOWave16 simulated Indian Ocean countries being put in a tsunami-warning situation and require the National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) and the National and/or Local Disaster Management Offices (NDMO/LDMO) in each country to implement their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). A primary goal of IOWave16 was to encourage more countries to involve coastal communities in the exercise to test the SOPs and communications links at all levels of the warning and response chain.

Exercise Scenario

The purpose of Exercise IOWave16 was to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the IOTWMS, through its operational TSPs, NTWCs, NDMOs and LDMOs, in responding to a potentially destructive tsunami.

The exercise comprised of two scenarios on successive days that will generate simulated tsunami waves travelling across the whole Indian Ocean basin. The first scenario simulates a magnitude 9.2 earthquake south of Sumatra, Indonesia and will commence at 0300 hours UTC on 7th September. The simulated tsunami will take approximately 7.5 hours to travel from its source to the coasts of Iran and Pakistan, and 11 hours to travel to the southern coast of South Africa. The second scenario simulates a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in the Makran Trench south of Pakistan and will commence at 0600 hours UTC on 8th September. The simulated tsunami will take approximately 11 hours to travel from its source to the western coast of Australia.

Image Map

The simulated magnitude 9.0 earthquake scenario Makran Trench South of Pakistan
The simulated magnitude 9.2 earthquake scenario South of Sumatra


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. Participating 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 16 (IOWave16, IOC/2016/TS/128Vol.1) was conducted on 7 and 8 September 2016 to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the IOTWMS and its operational TSPs, NTWCs, and Disaster Management Organisations (DMOs), in responding to potentially destructive tsunamis.

The exercise included community evacuation drills, involving around 60,000 participants, in Australia, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mauritius, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste.

The three (3) designated TSPs and twenty-four (24) Member States with designated Tsunami Warning Focal Points (TWFPs) participated, with twelve (12) countries taking the exercise down to the community level,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.

Country Participating in the IOWave16 Exercise Scenarios
Countries with Community Participation in IOWave16 Exercise