An experts meeting was held in Naples, Italy from 28-30 November 2022 to explore opportunities and identify key actions to implement the new ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy. The meeting was co-organised by IOC-UNESCO and the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). The new strategy was finalized in 2021 spearheaded by the Task Team on Documentation to further help advance NEAMTWS. The meeting was instrumental in terms of discussing the strategic objectives and proposed dedicated actions to the advancement of NEAMTWS in the context of the Ocean Decade and Safe Ocean challenge. The strategy is expected to be published as an IOC Technical Series, and communication material in the first quarter of 2023. Prof. Maria Ana Baptista, Chair of the ICG/NEAMTWS highlighted that “the ICG/NEAMTWS 2030 Strategy is key to capitalise on the Ocean Decade societal benefits in order to further improve monitoring, detection and data-sharing among Member States and partners”.
ICG/NEAMTWS Expert Meeting Group Picture, Centro Congressi Federico II, Naples, Italy. Source: INGV.
The meeting encouraged networking and improved collaboration between different actors and institutions, in particular experts involved in sea level related hazards and Early Warning Systems (EWS). Participants appreciated the efforts of the INGV (Italy) in the further development and integration of the Stromboli volcano EWS into the national and regional Tsunami Early Warning System to better detect, monitor and respond to non-seismic tsunami sources.
Member States are interested to collaborate with the CoastWAVE project, in particular activities related to sea level related hazards risk perception studies and the implementation of Tsunami Ready. Project countries are currently exploring the possibility to participate in the next NEAMWave exercise (NEAMWave23), planned on November 2023.
Tsunami education and awareness is improving in some NEAM countries. For example, to commemorate the World Tsunami Awareness Day 2022, tsunami exercises were conducted in Istanbul (Turkiye), Calabria and Sicily (Italy), and Sesimbra (Portugal) involving the local population and the Civil Protection Authorities.
Several partner countries are spearheading a number of state-of-the-art scientific programmes/projects that will help advance NEAMTWS to the next level such as the European Plate Observing System- Candidate Thematic Core Service Tsunami (EPOS-cTCS), the Global Tsunami Model (GTM), and the Accelerating Global science In Tsunami HAzard and Risk analysis (AGITHAR) Cost Action. These projects will need to be exemplified in more detail in the near future on a case-by-case basis.
The meeting was also an opportunity to learn more about the six new sea level observation stations installed within the Italian Tsunami Warning System; the global Tonga tsunami event; the planned deployment of new submarine cables in the NEAM region e.g. SMART CAM, Portugal; Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessment (PTHA) studies in Italy; and seismic early warning systems.
The expert meeting outcomes will provide important inputs to the Sixteenth Meeting of the Working Group on Tsunamis and Other Hazards related to Sea Level Warning and Mitigation Systems (TOWS-WG-XVI), 27 February–3 March 2023 (IOC CL 2914) and the ICG/NEAMTWS-XIII session, November 2023. It was attended by a total of 68 participants, from which 45 attended in person, including the ICG/NEAMTWS Steering Committee members, CoastWAVE project partners and other invited experts. The Participants also visited the Vesuvius Observatory in Ercolano, Italy on a tour that lasted for one hour.
For more information about the meeting, including the agenda and presenters, please visit the event site.