Indian Ocean tsunami to be reenacted for test of UNbacked warning system

6 October 2011More than 20 nations will participate next week in a full-scale exercise to test a United Nations-backed early warning system which will re-enact the events of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The exercise on 12 October, organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), aims to test the warning system’s operational capacity as well as the efficiency of communication systems and national emergency services.The “Exercise IOWAVE 11” as it is known, will recreate the conditions that led to the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 26 December 2004, which affected many Indian Ocean countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and India, resulting in more than 220,000 deaths and causing extensive damages to countries’ infrastructures, economies and environment.According to a news release issued by UNESCO today, the test scenario will be based on a fictional 9.2-magnitude earthquake that leads to a massive wave that crosses the Indian Ocean in 12 hours and strikes the coast of South Africa.As part of the exercise, coastal communities in India, Malaysia and other countries will be evacuated, and warning bulletins will be issued by the Regional Tsunami Service Providers in Australia, India, Indonesia and other warning systems in East Asia. After the 2004 catastrophe, Indian Ocean nations decided to establish an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS) and requested that UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission establish an Intergovernmental Coordination Group to provide a governance mechanism for the new system. Since then, bulletins have been issued to 28 Indian Ocean nations by the Japan Meteorological Agency and Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. For the duration of the test however, full responsibility will be transferred to the new warning system and the transition will be marked by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova with a video address to the authorities of Australia, India and Indonesia.The participating countries to date include: Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, France (on behalf of Réunion), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Yemen. read more

Sears Canada names retail veteran to new role as presidentchief merchant

TORONTO — Sears Canada Inc. has hired a veteran of the Canadian retail industry to be its president and chief merchant — a new position created to restore shoppers’ confidence in the struggling department store operator.CNW Group/Sears Canada Inc. Carrie Kirkman has most recently been interim president of shoe retailer Nine West Canada and was president of Jones Apparel Group from October 2010 until last April.Kirkman will work with Brandon G. Stranzl, who has been executive chairman of Sears Canada since the departure of Ronald Boire, who was chief executive and president of the troubled Canadian department store company for less than a year.Boire was the third president-CEO to leave the company suddenly in recent years, following Douglas Campbell in September 2014 and Calvin McDonald in September 2013.The company said Tuesday that it has adopted a different management structure that takes advantage of Stranzl’s expertise in finances and corporate turnarounds and Kirkman’s experience in merchandizing.Sears Canada’s retail operations ‘basically worthless at this point,’ analysts saySears Canada sees turnaround momentum, even as search for new CEO continues“The decision to bring Carrie to Sears Canada was the result of careful deliberation by both myself and the board of directors,” Stranzl said in a statement.“We created the President and Chief Merchant role to enable the management team to refine and enhance the customer experience and restore Sears Canada’s core retail business to a position of envy in the Canadian retail landscape, while maintaining a disciplined approach to capital allocation and profitability.”Kirkman has previously held senior roles at Sears rival Hudson’s Bay Co. from 2002-2010, and Liz Claiborne Canada from 1997-2002, where she managed fashion brands such as DKNY, Liz Claiborne and Kenneth Cole. Early in her career, Kirkman represented the Alfred Sung and Ports International brands.Sears Canada is a general merchandise retailer with a network of 166 corporate stores, 177 affiliated Hometown stores, more than 1,200 merchandise pickup locations, and repair and service network. read more