North-Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and connected seas

Tsunami Information Centre

Celebrating Ten Years of Tsunami Early Warning Operations in North-eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Connected Seas

Experts met at CENALT (France CENtre d'Alerte aux Tsunami), CEA (Commissariat à L’énergie Atomique et Aux énergies Alternatives), France on 29-30 September to celebrate the ten-years operations of CENALT. NOA (Greece) and KOERI (Turkey) are also celebrating ten years of operation. Dr Stéphane Le Garrec, Head of the Department Analyse, Surveillance, Environment (DASE), CEA welcomed all participants and highlighted CENALT operations in CEA since 2012.  Dr Hélène Hébert, CEA and Tsunami Warning Focal Point of France lead the organization of the scientific workshop.



The workshop was also an opportunity to discuss the recent hazard shocks and scientific knowledge concerning the Tonga volcanic explosion and generated tsunamis (explained as a fast-moving atmospheric “source” published in Nature (Omira et al., 2022)), tsunami risk prevention and local preparedness, scientific networks and data processing for warning chain and monitoring, scientific issues for better warning and hazard assessment, and improved understanding of coastal impacts. 

INGV (Italy), KOERI, and IPMA (Portugal) also reported on their achievements and plans. KOERI, Turkey for example plans to install twenty new sea level stations in the Marmara region to improve the detection and monitoring of coastal hazards in the next coming years.  UNESCO-IOC provided oversight of achievements, challenges, as well as strategy and actions, including CoastWAVE project intervention to advance the transformation of the Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (NEAMTWS) to address tsunami risk in the North-eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Connected Seas. 

Presently, the CoastWAVE project is moving towards community implementation, after taking some period to finalize partner agreements. A Sea Level Related Hazards Risk Perception Survey will be conducted next, in project countries.

Dr Matthieu Péroche, University of Montpellier reported that the City of Cannes, France is close to completing all twelve indicators of the UNESCO-IOC Tsunami Ready. Cannes is striving to become the first city in France to be recognized as UNESCO-IOC Tsunami Ready. Other communities across the NEAM region are also progressing to become Tsunami Ready, the goal is to have at least 7 to 10 recognized communities by 2024.

Since it became operational in 2012, CENALT has received approximately 72 bulletins, including 7 tsunamis with sea level variations. CENALT recorded a magnitude 6 earthquake event on 18 March, 2021 which took place in North Algeria. This is the first tsunami ever recorded by CENALT since it became operational in the NEAM region.

Experts are working on how to further improve the rapid determination of earthquake-tsunami source parameters in the Euro-Mediterranean area. The workshop brought discussions on other scientific issues, including probabilistic tsunami forecasting for early warning, and improved decision-making process in the NEAM region. 

The five accredited ICG/NEAMTWS TSPs meet two days before the scientific workshop to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the regional centres, including plans to conduct the fifth regional exercise in 2023 (NEAMWave23).

The workshop was attended by forty-three experts.