JAKARTA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- A meeting on tsunami alert and efforts to minimize the risk from tsunami began on Thursday in Padang, the capital city of Indonesia's West Sumatra province.
The two-day meeting gathered experts from 12 countries, including Indonesia, Australia, the United States, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.
Officials from international organizations concerning the tsunami disaster - the International Red Cross (IFRC), the United Nations' office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) , the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction (AIFDR) also attended the meeting.
Secretary of Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency ( BNPB) Fatchul Hadi said the meeting would concept the simulation of tsunami alert drill called Table Top Exercise (TTX) scheduled to be held in Padang in April this year.
"The meeting would also be the finalization phase of BNPB's effort to draft Indonesia's tsunami disaster risk reduction master plan. The drafting of the master plan was mandated by the president," Fatchul said on the sidelines of the meeting's opening ceremony in Padang as quoted by the Antara news agency.
The tsunami alert drill is also an anticipation of possible earthquake and tsunami that could occur in the province anytime. International experts have warned on the persistence of a " megathrust" off West Sumatra waters. The megathrust is a potential enormous magnitude of earthquake underneath West Sumatra seabed, that could trigger tsunami.
West Sumatra has been identified as a province prone to earthquake and tsunami disasters as it had been occurred in the province several times.
Indonesia saw numerous tsunami disasters in the last decade that killed hundred thousands of lives living in the coastal areas.
Indonesia recorded its largest tsunami toll at more than 170, 000 when a huge tsunami that followed a 9.1 magnitude earthquake took place in Aceh province in Dec. 26 2004.