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ComMIT/MOST training workshop 6-10 December 2010, Moroni, Union of the Comoros

comoros2A training workshop on how to use the ComMIT/MOST tsunami digital modelling software was held from 6 to 10 December 2010 in Moroni. It was most probably the first ComMIT training workshop in a French-speaking area. The instructors were Narcisse Zahibo and Bernard Dudon from the University of the Antilles in French Guiana, mandated by UNESCO. Fifteen people, all of whom were Comorians from different activity sectors (the Civil Aviation and Meteorological Authority, the Volcano Observatory, the Hydrological Service, civil society players, non-governmental organizations (UNDP), etc.), took part in the workshop. The opening ceremony was honoured by the presence of the Minister of Transport, Mr Hassane Assoumane, whose address underlined the importance given by Comorian authorities to the mitigation of natural threats facing their islands. It should also be highlighted that the beginning of the workshop coincided with the inauguration of the first radar tide gauge funded by UNESCO which was installed in the Moroni port. All workshop participants attended the inauguration ceremony.

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The workshop comprised three facets: theory, practice and lastly the presentation of participants’ work on case studies which they had to perform during the workshop. All tsunami features, from generation to coastal flooding, including concepts of risk management (mitigation, assessment and warning) were outlined at the start of the workshop. Historical data on tsunamis and more specifically the impact of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the coasts of the Union of the Comoros was examined. This was followed by a presentation of long ocean wave propagation equations and their digital modelling by the MOST method. The second day of the workshop addressed all the features of the ComMIT interface, how to use the locally installed server containing the different sources of the Makran and Indian Ocean region, and how to construct different nested grids. Each participant then worked on a case study on which a formal presentation was made, during which we took note of their quick grasp of the ComMIT/MOST modelling tool.

All participants expressed the need to strengthen and increase their command of this tool in order to use it in specific tsunami risk assessment projects for the Union of the Comoros.

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