A mock tsunami drill held on the beach here enabled the authorities to test the efficacy of various measures adopted to tackle disasters. The exercise was coordinated by top officials of the district administration headed by District Collector R. Girija on Saturday.
Photos : Jayakrishnan Alleppy & Shefeek Ibrahim
National Disaster Management Authority, Indo-Tibetan Border Police force, Fire and Rescue Services, police, and departments such as health, revenue, fisheries and information and public relations took part in the drill.
The exercise began with the alert received at the control room at the collectorate in the afternoon. The disaster management cell of the district met within minutes. All departments were asked to be on alert mode. Control rooms were opened at the collectorate and six taluks.
Messages were flashed frequently from the district information office through SMS and email to various departments.Ham radio and wireless communication links were used to convey messages from the beach. The tsunami alert came at 12.50 p.m.
Police, Health department and fire force were deployed at the beach immediately. The disaster management activities at the beach were coordinated by ADM J. Girija and Dy.SP M.E. Shahjahan. A quick deployable antenna was set up at recreation grounds to ensure uninterrupted communication. Inflatable boats, speed diving sets and other equipment were kept in a state of readiness.
The KSEB cut off the power connection to the coastal area. Evacuation of residents of coastal area began by 2.30 p.m. by means of ambulances and KSRTC buses.
The intimation that tsunami waves of up to 2.5 metres in height have reached the coast came at 3.30 p.m. The weak were taken to General Hospital. An 83-member team from the ITBP reached the beach by 4 p.m. Apart from government authorities, voluntary organisations such as Daya and Athazhakkoottam also participated in the drill. An IAF plane dropped food packets for the marooned at the Recreation grounds. The exercise came to an end by 5.15 p.m.
News : The Hindu