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Regional Workshop on Standard Operating Procedures for Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response held in Jakarta

jakarta workshop
In preparation for the commencement of Indian Ocean Regional Tsunami Service Provider (RTSP) operations on 12 October 2011, a 5 day regional workshop on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for tsunami warning and emergency response was held in Jakarta, 19-23 September. The objectives of the workshop were:

(i) to understand the roles and products of RTSPs;

(ii) to understand the impact of RTSP products and services on National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) SOPs;

(iii) to identify potential gaps and possible challenges for NTWC and National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMO) SOPs;

(iv) to develop/adapt SOPs to interface with the media; and

(v) to prepare for the Indian Ocean Wave 2011 exercise. 

The workshop was attended by 40 participants and trainers from 17 countries, with representatives from the RTSPs, NTWCs, NDMOs and media organisations. The participants were introduced to the new RTSP products and discussed their impact on national level SOPs. The role and responsibilities of the media in tsunami warning were also discussed. A tabletop exercise at the end of the workshop tested the participants knowledge of SOPs and provided them with an insight into the practical applications of the new RTSP products. 

The workshop was co-sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre and was hosted by the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG).

Paleotsunami workshop conducted in Banda Aceh

As part of the “Assessment and Awareness of Makran Tsunami Hazards” project funded by the UNESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund, a 10-day workshop was held in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, from 10-20 July 2010.  Ten scientists from Pakistan and five from Indonesia joined with five international experts in palaeotsunami research to gain experience in assessing tsunami hazards and increasing awareness of them. The group was hosted by the Tsunami Disaster Mitigation and Research Centre (TDMRC) at Syiah Kuala University, Banda Aceh.

paleodiggersThe group visited several significant sites in Banda Aceh city, including the Tsunami Museum and field sites in coastal areas where sedimentological evidence of the 2004 tsunami can be seen.  The group learned about palaeotsunami research through practical experience, digging many trenches and taking cores in relevant sites.  They also interviewed eyewitnesses of the 2004 tsunami to gain an understanding of the sociological impact of such events.


Project for strengthening Haitian capacities for tsunami early warning and preparedness funded by ECHO

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.



The ICG/IOTWS met in Melbourne, Australia, 3-6 May 2011

melbourne-group-photoThe 8th Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS-VIII) was held at the Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia, 3–6 May 2011 under the Chairmanship of Prof Dr Jan Sopaheluwakan. The Session was attended by 59 delegates and observers from 12 Member States in the Indian Ocean region, 3 Observer States and 9 UN agencies, NGOs and other organizations. The ICG reviewed the progress made by the IOTWS since the last Session, considered the reports and recommendations from its Steering Group, Working Groups and Task Teams, and decided on actions to be implemented in the next intersessional period.



Member countries of SOPAC conduct tsunami warning and mitigation systems project

fiji tsunami wshopThe National Capacity Assessment of SOPAC Member Countries: Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems project worked in collaboration with the member countries of SOPAC to assess their capacity to receive, communicate and respond effectively to tsunami warnings. The implementation of the project was led by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, in partnership with SOPAC and other key Australian and international tsunami and Disaster Risk Management partners. The project was funded by AusAID. The fourteen SOPAC member countries who participated in the project were the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


The ICG/CARIBE EWS-VI met in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (26-29 April, 2011)


The ICG/CARIBE EWS-VI (26-29 April, 2011) was attended by 70 participants from 18 Caribbean countries and 3 observer organizations (PNUD, CDEMA and WMO). Main topics discussed during the meeting were the estaicgviblishment of a Caribbean Tsunami Warning Center (CTWC) in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Tsunami Information Center (CTIC) in Barbados as well as the lessons learnt and report of the CARIBE WAVE 11 exercise.
The group highlighted the broad participation at the CARIBE WAVE 11 Exercise with 35 participating countries and territories. In addition, 28 local and private institutions submitted reports and at 188 schools and 130 private entities (hotels, ports operators, media outlets) participated. In general terms, there was a generalized satisfaction with the event because most objectives were met. The exercise was useful to identify gaps in the system.  The ICG decided to hold new exercise in March 2013.With respect to the CTWC United States recalled that a phased approach has been adopted for the establishment of such a center. The ICG noted progress on this phased approach by US and decided to accept the proposal of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Nicaragua to develop Terms of Reference for a back up center to be established as US plans progress ahead.

A field trip was organized to Matancita, a village that was destroyed by the 1946 and that is implementing tsunami response plans at community level, Delegates were able to interview and exchange views with survivors of the 1946 tsunami.

Hosted by:
UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE Oostende, Belgium
1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France | Tel: +33 1 45 68 39 84 | Fax: +33 1 45 68 58 12