Two Odisha Communities declared ‘Tsunami Ready’

Odisha has added yet another accolade in the field of disaster preparedness as the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO declares Venkatraipur in Ganjam district & Noliasahi village in Jagatsinghpur district as ‘Tsunami Ready’. These coastal villages are the first two communities in India to achieve such a feat, the Chief Minister’s Office said.

Additional Chief Secretary P K Jena notified that on August 7 in a virtual ceremony, award & certificates will be presented to Orissa State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and the two communities. Jena would be receiving the certificate from UNESCO on behalf of OSDMA, as he is also the managing director of the disaster management branch. In the virtual award ceremony, numerous international and national delegates will be present.

Notably, the Odisha government is planning to make all 326 villages and urban local bodies ‘tsunami ready’ within a year. OSDMA, which was established in the state following the 1999 super cyclone, has been successfully implementing the ‘Tsunami Ready’ programme in the state.

IOC-UNESCO’s Indian Ocean Tsunami Ready Programme, which is awarding the OSDMA, is a performance-based programme that promotes tsunami readiness as an ongoing collaboration of the community, community leaders, and national and local emergency management agencies.

Odisha has a history of recurring natural disasters. While the coastal districts of Odisha are exposed to floods, tsunamis and cyclones, western Odisha is prone to acute droughts. Lightning also claims the lives of many in the state. In fact, approximately 80% of the state is vulnerable to one or more form of natural disasters.

Taking this into account, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Ready Programme of IOC-UNESCO was initiated to promote coastal community preparedness for tsunami crisis. The aim is to reduce the loss of life and resources and to establish a structural and systematic strategy in instituting community preparedness.

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