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In a First for Country, UNESCO Recognises Two Odisha Villages as 'Tsunami Ready'

The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is seen in front of its headquarters in Paris, France. (Reuters)

The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is seen in front of its headquarters in Paris, France. (Reuters)

With it Odisha became the first state in the country to have such villages and the country the first in the Indian Ocean region to achieve the honour from UNESCO.

In a first, two coastal villages of Odisha have been recognised as being "Tsunami Ready" by UNESCO for their overall preparedness to face the calamity, Additional Chief Secretary PK Jena said on Thursday.

With it Odisha became the first state in the country to have such villages and the country the first in the Indian Ocean region to achieve the honour from the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

The two coastal are Venkatraipur (Boxipalli) village of Rangeilunda block in Ganjam district and Noliasahi village of Ersama block in Jagatsinghpur district, he said.

The certificate of recognition will be handed over to the communities of Venkatraipur and Noliasahi in a virtual event scheduled to be held on August 7. Jena, who is also the managing director of Odisha State Disaster management Authority, will receive the certificate from UNESCO.

International and national delegates will be present at the virtual event, he said adding the UNESCO recognition is a great achievement for Odisha and its tsunami preparedness.

It will make Odisha a role model for tsunami preparedness. With this award, the state is motivated to makethe 326 villages and urban local bodies tsunami ready in one year's time, Jena said.

Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), which was set up in the state following the 1999 super cyclone that claimed 10,000 lives, has implemented the Tsunami Ready programme in the State.

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Ready Programme of IOC-UNESCO is a community performance-based programme that facilitates tsunami preparedness as an active collaboration of the community, community leaders, and national and local emergency management agencies, an official release issued by the state government said.

The main objective of this programme is to improve coastal community preparedness for tsunami emergencies, to minimise the loss of life and property and to ensure structural and systematic approach in building community preparedness.

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