Tsunami drill mistaken for the real thing

Tsunami drill mistaken for the real thing

PETALING JAYA - Rumours of tsunamis and earthquakes in Penang had the Meteorological Department staff in a quandary after a routine training exercise was misrepresented on social media and went viral.

It was part of a two-day drill called the Indian Ocean Exercise Wave 2014 (IOWave14) that Malaysia took part in with 20 other countries.

However, heavy rain and strong waves that hit Penang gave residents there the jitters.

"This (exercise) is to test the Indian Ocean Warning System," it said in a statement.

The drill has two phases - firstly, tsunami information will be issued from the simulation to Regional Tsunami Service Providers and then to Tsunami Early Warning Centres.

The countries concerned will then analyse the information in an exercise to test communications and coordination between agencies, as well as evaluate the readiness level in disaster organisations.

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