In response to the tragic tsunami on 26 December 2004, in which over 250,000 lives were lost around the Indian Ocean region, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (UNESCO/IOC) received a mandate from the international community to coordinate the establishment of an Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG) for each region: the Caribbean, the Atlantic and Mediterranean basins and the Indian Ocean, to guide the development of tsunami warning centres in those areas.
An end-to-end tsunami warning system begins with the rapid detection of a tsunami wave and ends with a well prepared community that is capable of responding appropriately to a warning. An effective end-to-end tsunami early warning system could save thousands of lives in a tsunami event.
The operation of a tsunami warning centre is a vital part of an end-to-end tsunami warning system. A tsunami warning centre is not only involved in acquiring and processing data for detecting a tsunami, but also in formulating and disseminating tsunami warnings and connecting with communities at risk to ensure that they understand the warning and have the capacity to respond.
End to End TEWS
Source: U.S. Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System Program (US IOTWS). 2007. Tsunami Warning Center. Reference Guide supported by the United States Agency for International Development and partners, Bangkok, Thailand. 311 p.
Languages : English
This open-access e-learning library aims at contributing to the capacity building of professionals and practitioners working in disaster risk management and tsunamis.
Manuals and guides; 69
Manuals and guides. Languages: English.
Manuals and guides; 65
Manuals and guides; 61
Professor Maria Ana Baptista from Portugal was elected on Friday 29 May 2020 as the new Chairperson for the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/NEAMTWS). Professor Costas Synolakis becomes the new ICG/NEAMTWS vice-chair. The organization of the vote was by correspondence conducted at the UNESCO Headquarters. The IOC Executive Secretary, Mr Vladimir Ryabinin congratulated Professor Maria Ana Baptista and Professor Costas Synolakis to be elected as the new ICG/NEAMTWS Officers for the period 2020-2021.
The Programme Specialist and Technical Secretary of ICG/NEAMTWS, Dr Denis Chang Seng thanked the outgoing ICG/NEAMTWS Officers, Dr Gerassimos Papadopoulos (Greece), Dr Stefano Lorito (Italy) and Dr Anna von Gyldenfeldt (Germany) for their leadership and valuable contributions to the ICG/NEAMTWS.
Professor Maria Ana Baptista
Professor Coastas Synolakis
The new ICG/NEAMTWS Officers strategy is to: foster the involvement and the implementation of National Tsunami Warning Centers in Maghreb countries of the NEAM region; contributing to capacity building goal of the UN Ocean Science Decade for Sustainable Development; and further improve tsunami public awareness and resilience in the NEAM region, by creating Tsunami Ready Communities.
Maria Ana Baptista is a Professor at the Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa and a researcher at Instituto Dom Luiz, University of Lisbon. She holds a habilitation title in Geophysics and Geo-information Sciences, PhD in Physics – Geophysics University of Lisbon. Her scientific interests are: tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural hazards. She was vice-chairperson of the ICG/NEMATWS from 2007 till 2011. She actively collaborated with IPMA (Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera) in the implementation of the Portuguese Tsunami Service Provider of the NEAM region. In 2010, she was awarded the Tsunami Society International Award. She authors and co-authors several scientific publications http://idl.ul.pt/baptista.htm
Professor Costas Synolakis is Secretary of the Division of Natural Sciences, Academy of Athens, Greece. He is the Chair of Earth Sciences in the 39-person Academy of Athens, which is the only Greek National Academy. The 39 members represent arts, letters, sciences, medicine, law and engineering. He is a global leader in coastal engineering. Over the past three decades, he has made significant contributions in the areas of tsunami research and engineering, water wave theory, breaking waves, run-up, near-shore ocean processes, erosion related to sea-level change, seismology, marine geosciences and volcanism. His impact is evidenced by the wide adoption of his contributions for tsunami warning, hazard assessment, and mitigation, resulting in many people saved. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) honoured Costas E. Synolakis, Ph.D., with the 2019 International Coastal Engineering Award for his three-decade-long pioneering efforts in the field of tsunami research, which has not only transformed scientists' understanding of tsunamis but also saved countless lives.
The Sixteenth Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System in the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and connected seas (ICG/NEAMTWS) was held from 2–4 December 2019, Cannes, France. The session was hosted by the municipality of Cannes.
Photo by Jörn Beherens
There is considerable infrastructure build up along the coast of Cannes and a port with many expensive yachts. A total of 3 million people visit Cannes each year, including 320 cruise passengers. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes is located close to the coast and the congress center hosts 50 major events per year including the Cannes Film Festival, and several thousands people attend these events. Cannes has taken several steps to mitigate tsunamis. Cannes has adopted the World Tsunami Awareness Day, 5 November as an annual event since 2017. It has carried out two Tsunami exercises, installed tsunami evacuation signs and adopted a comprehensive risk information document for its inhabitants (that also include a section on Tsunami). Lately, a charter for a set of city employee concerning Tsunami risks and inundation. Many of these efforts represents a first among municipalities in France and Cannes is a beacon or pilot town in that respect.
Participants reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the NEAMTWS.
The session approved accreditation of IPMA (Portugal) as a Tsunami Service Provider (TSP). IPMA is the fifth center to receive accreditation in the NEAM region. Several countries have subscribed to receive tsunami alert messages from IPMA.
The session discussed progress made regarding the formulation of the NEAMTWS Strategy and Implementation Plan and decided on how to complete the plan by next ICG/NEAMTWS. Plans for the further development of the NEAM Tsunami Information Centre (NEAMTIC) were also discussed and should be finalised at next ICG/NEAMTWS session.
The Group recognized the efforts devoted to increasing awareness on tsunami hazards and preparedness in particular in France, Italy, Greece and Turkey in line with and as a contribution to World Tsunami Awareness Day, 5 November 2019.
The session discussed the framework for providing Tsunami alerts to the maritime community which TOWS-WG (Tsunamis and Other Ocean Hazards Warning and Mitigation Systems Working Group) had developed in collaboration with the IHO/IMO World-Wide Navigational Warning Service Sub-Committee (WWNWS-SC). At this time, TSPs in NEAM region indicated the need to learn from the experiences gained in other ICG regions before taking on such a service for the NEAM region.
The session decided to carry out the NEAMWave 20 tsunami exercise on 2-4 November 2020 back-to-back with the World Tsunami Awareness Day, 5 November 2020.
Germany offered to host the seventeenth session of the ICG/NEAMTWS.
The Sixteenth session of ICG/NEAMTWS was attended by around 52 participants from 14 member countries and few observers.