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Pacific Wave 06 to Test Tsunami Response

Pacific Wave 06 to Test Tsunami Response

Australia this week joins with other Pacific nations to test communication networks in the event of a tsunami occurring in the Pacific Ocean, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has announced.

A simulated tsunami generated by an earthquake near Chile sending a wave across several Pacific islands and onto New Zealand and Australia has been designed to evaluate decision-making arrangements between Pacific Rim countries.

The Attorney-General today is observing the exercise 'Pacific Wave 06' in New Zealand where he has been discussing bilateral issues such as national security and harmonisation of laws across the Tasman.

"None of us will never forget the tragedy that unfolded on Boxing Day, 2004, when we witnessed with horror the devastation and human cost of a natural disaster of a magnitude not previously contemplated in this region or anywhere in the world," Mr Ruddock said.

"By joining with our neighbours to test the Pacific Tsunami Warning System, we are taking an important step to ensuring we are better prepared for an ocean-wide tsunami," he said.

Mr Ruddock has seen emergency management facilities in Wellington in operation during the exercise when he met with his New Zealand counterpart - the Minister for Civil Defence - Rob Barker.

The exercise is testing the sharing of information and alerting mechanisms just as they would be issued during a real event. In addition, Emergency Management Australia (EMA) will activate the National Emergency Management Coordination Centre to liaise between Australian Government departments and disaster management offices in other countries.

No public warnings will take place as Pacific Wave 06 is a 'desktop' exercise involving communication and decision making at government levels, without disruption to the general public.

Other Australian Government departments involved are Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

© Scoop Media

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