On 5 October 2022, IOC-UNESCO EU-DG ECHO CoastWAVE project partners held their first workshop on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the Northeast Atlantic, Mediterranean and the connected seas (NEAM) region. At the end of this workshop, participants were better equipped to advance the development of national SOPs for tsunamis in their respective country and the implementation of UNESCO IOC Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme. The workshop was organized in partnership with the European Commission, Joint Research Center (EC-JRC) at the JRC office located in Ispra, Italy. The Technical Secretary of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG) / NEAMTWS, Dr. Denis Chang Seng welcomed participants and said “Several workshops and training have been carried out over the years by IOC-UNESCO and partners in the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean to support the development of tsunami Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and the workshop will set a benchmark for tsunami Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) development in the NEAM region within the context of the CoastWAVE project by sharing experiences and lessons learned from the Pacific, Indian and Caribbean tsunami early warning and mitigation systems”.
Dr. Derya Vennin, project coordinator and Associate Project Officer of IOC UNESCO elaborated on the roles and responsibilities of actors across the end-to-end tsunami warning chain based on the Manual and Guidelines 76 of IOC. She underscored that “SOPs should be established at each stage and for each stakeholder along the end-to-end tsunami warning chain” and she also added:
“SOPs aim to achieve productivity and high-quality performance while reducing the risk of miscommunication, and non-compliance between stakeholders.”
From left to right (standing): Rick Bailey, Ignacio Aguirre Ayerbe, Amr Hamouda, Didem Cambaz, Ahmet Cevdet Yalciner, Suzan M. El-Gharabawy, Denis Chang Seng, Nikos Kalligeris, Pauline Galea, Sylvana Pilidou (sitting): Khalid El Khalidi, Bernardo Aliaga, Derya Vennin, Esmeralda Borja Aviles, Daniele Alberto Galliano, Ocal Necmioglu. Photo Credit: Piero Cruciaiti
Mr Bernardo Aliaga, Technical Secretary of the ICG Pacific and Caribbean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems (PTWS and CARIBE EWS), Mr Rick Bailey, Technical Secretary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) and Mr Denis Chang Seng, shared information and practical exercises to the project participants on SOPs development.
The project partners from Cyprus (Geological Survey Department of Cyprus), Egypt (National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries), Greece (National Observatory of Athens), Malta (Department of Geosciences), Morocco (Laboratory of Marine Geosciences and Sciences), Spain, (Environmental Hydraulics Institute), and Turkey (Middle East Technical University and Bogazici University) presented their existing national and local status of SOPs, which vary from country to country. It was noted that SOPs across the entire tsunami early warning and response system are lacking in NEAM countries. The participants had engaging discussions and exercises concerning national and local SOPs and governing SOPs frameworks and regulations of each representative country. An interesting practical simulation exercise took place, for which, participants learned how to tackle adversities for a potential real tsunami situation, following step-by-step actions of the role of the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) and, Emergency Management Agency (EMA).
All twenty -invited- participants attended the workshop.
Visit the OceanExpert workshop web page for more information, including presentations and activities.