North-Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and connected seas

Tsunami Information Centre

New Information Document Underscores the Growing Coastal Exposure and Need to Continue Building Tsunami Resilience in the NEAM region

A new ICG/NEAMTWS Factsheet 2005-2020 is now available to Member States, partners and stakeholders to inform of the current state of Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (NEAMTWS).

The Fact Sheet describes the development and main elements of ICG/NEAMTWS. In particular, it highlights the achievements,  and contributions of NEAMTWS to disaster risk reduction, the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It also captures the overall governance, status, challenges and opportunities in the further development of NEAMTWS.

Mr Denis Chang Seng, the Technical Secretary of the ICG/NEAMTWS highlighted that the new Fact Sheet aims to point out to Member States, partners, stakeholders the increasing tsunami exposure and risk in the Mediterranean and Connected Seas region despite the relatively low occurrence of major tsunamis. New coastal population maps for the entire NEAM region has been produced to emphasize the growing coastal challenges (see figure below). It is estimated that the NEAMTWS Low Elevation Coastal Zone (< 10 m height) is home to about 116 million inhabitants. The numbers increase substantially during the tourist season. In most cases, there may not be sufficient time for warnings to reach all persons at risk, so preparedness and education on recognizing the harbinger tsunami signs and self-evacuation are important and save lives.

NEAM coastal population map, IOC-UNESCO 2020

The Fact sheet underlines that to make meaningful progress, countries must share and sustain existing geophysical and sea-level data streams in the required time and space resolution. There is a need to continuously improve the tsunami detection and forecast system. Civil Protection Agencies and other stakeholders need to play a more active role. There is an increasing need to focus on education and awareness-raising in NEAM region. Community Tsunami Readiness should be an important part of the equation to addressing tsunami risk in the region. French and Arabic version of the Fact Sheet 2005-2020 will also be prepared to increase exchange and interactions with the southern countries (Maghreb) of the Mediterranean region.