Thu, 16 April

Maldives First Atoll/Island EOC Established in Fuvahmulah

In an effort to enhance warning dissemination/communication for preparedness and emergency response, the Maldives Meteorological Service (MMS) and the National Disaster Management Center (NDMC), with support from the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) through its Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness in Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian Countries, officially handed over equipment for Local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to Fuvahmulah Atoll Council on 14 April 12015. The EOC in Fuvahmulah, according to NDMC and MMS, is the first established in the country in the atoll/island level. 

The hand-over was graced by Mr. Abdulla Falah Shareef, President of Fuvahmulah Atoll Council, Mr. Ali Shareef, Deputy Director General of MMS, Ms. Fathimath Thasneem, Deputy Minister of NDMC, Mr. Ali Fazad, Member of Parliament, and Ms. Ruby Rose Policarpio, Institutional Development Specialist of RIMES, and was witnessed by other officials from MMS and NDMC and representatives from various institutions in the Atoll.

The establishment of the local EOC in Fuvahmulah is aimed at facilitating receipt and dissemination of relevant warnings 24/7, from MMS and NDMC, to at-risk communities in the Atoll and enhancing preparedness and emergency responses. The EOC equipment includes computer sets and conference phone system, satellite phone and mobile phone systems for linking to MMS and NDMC for hazard monitoring and for ensuring redundant warning receipt; local communication mechanisms like megaphones, portable public address system, and hand-operated siren for local warning dissemination; and protective gears for emergency responders.

The establishment of EOC is part of the atoll/island capacity building initiatives under the project “Reducing risks of tsunamis, storm surges, large waves and other natural hazards in low elevation coastal zones” facilitated by RIMES regionally. NDMC is currently working with local stakeholders in the Atoll for the development of the Local Disaster Management Plan. Other complementary capacity building activities will be conducted in Fuvahmulah to further strengthen the Atoll Council/Local Disaster Management Committee in forecast/warning-based decision-making for better management of resources and risks.