A new agreement has been signed between the European Commission’s General Directorate for Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO) and UNESCO for 500,000 EUR to strengthen tsunami early warning capabilities in the Caribbean Region. The 15-month project “Strengthening Haitian capacities for tsunami early warning and preparedness” will offer continuity to ongoing efforts established by the Haitian Government and IOC/UNESCO after the 12 January Earthquake in 2010.
The objectives of the project are to continue to build awareness, knowledge, and response capacity on/for tsunami risks at institutional level. In addition, the new funding will allow to initiate tsunami preparedness initiatives at community level, including public awareness campaigns.
Capacity development regarding sea level data interpretation, seismic data for tsunami warning purposes and standard operating procedures will be ensured. Standard operating procedures at central and communal level will be developed in selected zones. Two additional tide gauges will be installed and inundation maps for selected zones will be elaborated, including related training for Haitian technicians.
Tsunami risk reduction is a relatively new effort in the framework of the National System for Risk and Disaster Management in Haiti and in general terms, the project intends to contribute to all the components of a people-oriented warning chain. The main partners of the project are the National Center of Meteorology, the Directorate of Civil Protection, the Haitian Maritime and Navigation Service, the Haitian Bureau of Mines and Energy, the Haitian Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.