The European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC), emergency services and the local community on the eastern Aegean island of Kos will hold a tsunami drill next Tuesday morning (Nov. 19), the Commission announced last Friday.
Kos was hit by a destructive 6.6 magnitude earthquake on July 20, 2017,which killed two tourists and injured dozens. The tremor was followed by a small-scale tsunami which reached 1.5 meters in height.
The emergency exercise will test the new equipment and emergency procedures introduced under the EU project "Tsunami Last Mile,"after the 2017 tsunami.
The drill will start at 9 a.m., with scientists simulating an earthquake and programming the sensors to read the same wave height as the one recorded during the underwater tremor of 2017.
The exercise will last four hours and will involve the entire localemergency system: municipal administration, fire department, police,port authorities, ambulance service, Red Cross and teams of volunteers.
Teams participating in the exercise will receive a warning message andtheir reaction, including their evacuation procedures, will beobserved and evaluated.
In August, JRC and the Hellenic National Tsunami Warning Centre(HL-NTWC) installed electronic signs, sensors, stations measuring thesea level, information boards with loudspeakers along the coastline and long-range sirens.
The system is designed to improve early warning and communication so that the local population is informed ina timely manner in the event of a tsunami.
If proven effective, the “Tsunami Last Mile” and its incorporation into Greece's Tsunami National Warning Center could become a reference point for the entire Mediterranean region.