The conference in Hanoi on December 26 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A video conference was held on December 26 to test how relevant governmental agencies coordinate to operate the country’s natural disaster early warning system in response to a tsunami.

The agencies involved in the exercise included the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the Institute of Geophysics, the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF) and the Steering Committees for Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue in Quang Nam and Da Nang.

The exercise was based on a scenario in which Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre and the Northwest Pacific Tsunami Advisory Centre issue warnings of tsunami waves of 1.5 – 7 metre high for the East Sea areas, including the coast of Vietnam, at 8:45am on December 26.

In Vietnam, the worst-hit areas are shores from Da Nang to Quang Ngai which are struck by waves of more than 5 metres between 10:30am and 12:30am.

Upon receiving the warnings, the Institute of Geophysics sends three reports on the tsunami to on-duty officials via text messages and provides direct broadcast of tsunami information via the multipurpose natural disaster early warning system installed at 30 stations along Da Nang’s coast to request immediate evacuation.

The multipurpose natural disaster early warning system has been developed by military-run telecom group Viettel.

The government has installed a tsunami early warning system at high-risk areas in 13 coastal cities and provinces across the country since 2012 with the first phase of the project being piloted in Da Nang and Quang Nam. So far, 51 alert stations have been installed, including 30 in Da Nang and 21 in Quang Nam.–VNA