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10th Session of the ICG/IOTWS held in Muscat, Oman, 24-26 March

The 10th Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS-X) has been held in Muscat, Oman, 24-26 March, hosted by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) of the Sultanate of Oman.  The session was held immediately following the highly successful regional conference on “Reducing Tsunami Risk in the Western Indian Ocean” and the inauguration of Oman’s National Multi-Hazard Early Warning System.  The session was opened by the IOC Executive Secretary, Dr Vladimir Ryabinin, and was attended by 73 participants representing 20 IOTWS Member States, 5 UN agencies and other organisations and 17 other observers.


The key outcomes of the session were: 1) the establishment of a sub-regional Working Group for the Northwestern Indian Ocean chaired by Dr Juma Al-Maskari (Oman), 2) the merging of Working Group 1 on Tsunami Risk Assessment and Reduction and Working Group 3 on Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness into and a new Working Group 1 on “Tsunami Risk, Community Awareness and Preparedness” chaired by Dr Harkunti Rahayu (Indonesia), 3) the endorsement of the Terms of Reference of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) and 4) the endorsement of the IOTWS Tsunami Service Provider (TSP) Service Definition Document.

The ICG elected new officers for the next intersessional period: the Chair is Dr Srinivasa Kumar (India) and the Vice Chairs are Dr Juma Al-Maskari (Oman) and Prof S.S.L. Hettiarchchi (Sri Lanka).

Full details of the delegates, documents and presentations can be found on the meeting website: www.ioc-unesco.org/iotws-10.

Summary Statement from the IOC-UNESCO – BMKG International Conference to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Jakarta, Indonesia, 24-25 November 2014

Summary StatementThe Summary Statement from the  IOC-UNESCO – BMKG International Conference to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami is now available for downloadThe conference was held on 24-25 November 2014 at the BMKG Auditorium in Jakarta, Indonesia and was attended by 160 participants from 28 countries, 10 UN agencies, 10 media organisations and many NGOs, research institution, universities and private organisations.  The participants came from a variety of backgrounds, including physical and social scientists, warning system operators, emergency and response managers, planners, journalists, and policy and decision makers.  The conference was organised by IOC UNESCO and BMKG with support from the UNESCO Jakarta office and the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC). 

The theme of the conference was "the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System 10 years after the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Achievements, Challenges, Remaining Gaps and Policy Perspectives".   The statement includes key highlights and recommendations on 1) the development of the IOTWS since 2004, 2) outstanding needs and future developments, 3) donor perspectives, 4) sustainability of the IOTWS, and 5) strengthening international cooperation.  The statement has been framed for conveyance to the 3rd UN World conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, 14 – 18 March 2015.

Remembering the 1945 Makran Tsunami – Interviews with Survivors Beside the Arabian Sea

IOC-UNESCO announces the publication of Remembering the 1945 Makran Tsunami – Interviews with Survivors Beside the Arabian Sea. This booklet captures nearly 100 accounts of the 1945 Makran disaster as told by eye-witnesses and second-generation survivors in Pakistan, Iran, Oman and India. The publication is in English and versions in Farsi, Urdu, and Arabic will be available later in 2015. 

Booklet Cover

The interviews were carried out between 2008 and 2014, chiefly under United Nations funded projects. Most of the accounts pertain to the 1945 tsunami, but testimony of the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the Arabian Sea tsunami of 24 September 2013 is also included.

The booklet and video footage from forty of the interviews are available at http://iotic.ioc-unesco.org/1945makrantsunami/.

The booklet has been produced by the IOC-UNESCO Secretariat for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS) in Perth, Australia and the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) in Jakarta, Indonesia under a project funded by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness.

NEAMWave14 successfully undertaken

The tsunami alert exercise that took place from the 28 to the 30 October in the Mediterranean, North-eastern Atlantic, and the Black Sea has been marked by a strong participation of the civil protection authorities. This simulation aimed at tturkey 1esting the preparedness of the countries participating in the NEAMTWS established by the IOC of UNESCO.

In comparison to the first test organized in 2012, more Civil Protection Authorities (from 5 to 14) took part in the exercise. This exercise has been also the occasion to test the mainstreaming into the NEAMTWS system of the standard operational procedures of the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission, which co-funds the exercise, for providing international assistance through the Union civil protection mechanism in case of major disasters.

For certain countries, e.g. Spain, Lebanon, Romania, UK, this exercise was the first occasion to establish contracts among the actors concerned with tsunami risk at national level.For the first time, countries bordering the Black Sea, like Romania and Russia, participated in the exercise.

During the exercise some communication issues has been identified, providing the opportunity to learn some lessons regarding, in particular, the use of some communication technologies.

The exercise, named NEAMWave14, simulated 4 earthquakes generating tsunamis in the Mediterranean, north-eastern Atlantic, and Black Sea. In total 20 countries, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom out of 39 NEAMTWS Member States took part in the exercise.




We are pleased to announced the release of the workshop report on "Improving Tsunami Warning and Emergency Response in the North-Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Connected Seas" held on 23 and 24 September 2014 in Rabat, Morocco, and organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO together with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the UNESCO for the Maghreb based in Rabat, and the Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Technique of Morocco.


The workshop gathered representatives of governmental, scientific and emergency management institutions from the Maghreb countries with the aim of presenting the recent developments of the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-Eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and Connected Seas (NEAMTWS), and preparing for the tsunami exercise, NEAMWave 14, which took place from 28 to 30 October 2014.



For more information, please visit: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002305/230519m.pdf



The Dominican Republic government, with UN support, put into effect Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to save lives and prevent property loss in case of tsunamis.

The Dominican Republic government put into effect Tsunami Procedures Manual


During a ceremony held on Monday October 27 at the United Nations House, representatives of the Center for Emergency Operations (COE), the Seismological Institute University (ISU-UASD) and the National Meteorological Office (ONAMET) committed to ensuring the implementation of the Manual that defines the roles of each entity in the event of tsunamis.


This activity is supported by UNESCO / IOC and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the project "Communities resilient to earthquakes and tsunamis in Puerto Plata" which is funded by the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission and the Spanish NGO Anesvad.


The Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP, Luciana Mermet, announced that on Thursday October 30 an evacuation drill in cooperation with the local team "Tsunami Action" in Puerto Plata and the education sector. The goal will be to evacuate more than two thousand students from five schools in Puerto Plata which are located in areas vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis.


Mermet shared the head table with the deputy director of the Emergency Operations Center, Edwin Olivares, director ONAMET Gloria Ceballos, the representative of ISU, Felix Martinez, the program officer of the European Commission, Gina Sosa, the coordinator of the Risk Management Unit of the Ministry of Education, Milagros Yost, the representative of the National Emergency Commission, José Jose Alcantara and Professor Miguel Llivina of UNESCO Office in La Havana.



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