Two training workshops on tsunami preparedness and response for Dominican Republic were held in Santo Domingo and Las Terrenas on July 14-15 and July 17-18, 2014, respectively. The events were hosted by the Global Foundation for Defense (FUNGLODE), thru its Center for Security and Defense, and the National District and Las Terrenas municipalities. Over 250 participants from namely Neighborhood Associations, Firefighters, Civil Defense, Police, Red Cross, Schools, Local Governments, Faith Based Organizations, Hotel Associations and Private Sector benefited from the lectures and exercises. The objective was to encourage the establishment of preventive measures through education, to outline procedures and foster a culture of disaster prevention by empowering local institutions and neighborhoods resulting in the protection of life, property and livelihoods for tsunami events.
The training included presentations and three hands on exercises on tsunami evacuation mapping, community and organizational standard operational procedures and a table top exercise with southern and northern Dominican Republic earthquake/tsunami scenarios. The workshop was conducted by a team of 8 trainers from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, the National Meteorological Organization, the Center for Emergency Operations, Civil Defense, National Emergency Commission, Global Matrix Engineering, Puerto Rico Seismic Network and the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program (NWS/NOAA) with support from the Dominican Media Association and IOC/UNESCO. This was the third time that FUNGLODE has hosted this training in the Dominican Republic since 2012.
The Assessment of Coastal Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk for the coast of Oman, undertaken by the Environmental Hidraulic Institute of the University of Cantabria (IHC) covers two different resolutions: 1) Overall risk assessment along all the coast of Oman. 2) Detailed risk assessment for 9 selected cities (Sohar, Wudam, Sawadi, Muscat, Quriyat, Sur, Masirah, Al Duqm, and Salalah).
The main goal is the development of the Multi Hazard Risk Assessment System (MHRAS) addressing TWO specific hazards: Tsunamis and Storm Surge. The MHRAS will provide:
1. The scenario database to feed the Multi Hazard Early Warning System that the Government of Oman is currently implementing supported by IOC-UNESCO for the protection of population and goods during an event.
2. Hazard, vulnerability and risk maps for tsunami and storm surge, as basic tools to develop a safe planning for land and coastal management; including an atlas of possible risk mitigation measures.
Apart of the MHRAS platform, the work done by IHC includes two more components, being the first of them the development of a set of seasonal and short term forecasting tools for the regular marine climate and the tropical cyclones. Technology transfer is another important component of the project. In order to train several members of the meteorological service of Oman in the numerical models and working methodologies developed by IHC the hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment, a set of workshop have been included as part of the project.
The Directorate General of Meteorology and Air Navigation / Public Authority for Civil Aviation of Oman (DGMAN/PACA) in collaboration with IOC UNESCO held the second Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Workshop for Tsunami Early Warning Systems in Muscat, Oman, June 8-9 2014. The workshop was attended by 43 participants from different responsible government stakeholders involved in the National Multi-Hazards Early Warning System (NMHEWS) that Oman is developing. The workshop was officially opened by Mr.Abdul Rahim al Harmi, the Chairman of National Steering Committee of NMHEWS and Tsunami National Contact for the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS) IOTWS for the Sultanate of Oman.
In his opening speech, Dr.Juma al Maskari, Assistant Director-General for Meteorology of PACA and the chairman of the Technical Committee of NMHEWS, summarised the results of the first SOP workshop held in October 2013. He informed that the phase 1 development of the NMHEWS was in its final stages and that the system is expected to be inaugurated in March 2015, followed by an international symposium on tsunami science and the 10th Session of the ICG/IOTWS. The representatives of DGMAN presented the progress of the development of the NMHEWS; the Action Plan; and the status of SOP development. The Head of ICG/IOTWS Secretariat, Mr Tony Elliott, provided an overview of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS) and the Regional Tsunami Service Provider (RTSP) products and services. He also gave a presentation on SOPs for Tsunami Warning Centres. The Head of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC), Mr Ardito Kodijat, gave a presentation on the services provided by IOTIC. On the second day of the workshop, Aridito Kodijat gave a presentation on Community Preparedness focusing on Evacuation Planning. The Principles of end-to-end Tsunami Early Warning and Tsunami Warning Decision Support Tools were presented by the IOC UNESCO Coordinator for the NMHEWS project, Dr Fauzi.
For the second part of Day 2 the participants were divided into 7 groups to conduct an exercise on developing SOPs for tsunami emergency response using timeline template tools. Each of the groups then presented the SOPs they had developed to the other groups.
At the closing of the workshop, the participants agreed to continue to work on their SOPs and prepare for their integration into the national goal of reducing the risk of tsunami disaster, especially considering the schedule for completion of the NMHEWS by the end of March 2015.
The next tsunami exercise for the North-Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and connected seas will be held on 28-30 October 2014.
NEAMWave14 will involve the simulation of the assessment of a tsunami, based on an earthquake-driven scenario followed by alert message dissemination by CTWPs (Phase A) and continued with the simulation of the TWFP/NTWCs’ and CPAs’ actions (Phase B), as soon as the message produced in Phase A has been received. In addition as soon as the message produced in Phase A has been received by the European Commission Emergency Response and Coordination Centre (ERCC) the simulation continues at international level with the activation of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (Phase C) for international assistance.
In order to prepare for the exercise a worksho has been organized on 10 June 2014 in Brussels by the IOC with the European Commission Directorate General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (EC DG ECHO). The workshop had the main objective to present NEAMWave14 objectives and procedures to the Civil Protection Authorities of the NEAM region. Moreover, it was the occasion for the DG ECHO to present the activities of the ERCC to the NEAM community. NEAMWave14 will also help to strengthen the collaboration between them and IOC on tsunami preparedness. Moreover information on the ERCC can be found on their website:
For more information on NEAMWave14:
On July 29-31, 2013 Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (FUNGLODE) of the Dominican Republic hosted the first Tsunami Safety Course tailored for the Tourism, Hotel and Security industries. Forty people participated in this event which was organized by its Global Institute for Higher Studies in Social Sciences and delivered in Santo Domingo. The objective was to provide the tourism and hotel sectors with basic knowledge on tsunamis, the national response protocols and elements for their preparedness and response plans. The format of the course included lectures as well as hands on exercises for the development of plans and responding to local and regional tsunamis. Josefina Reynoso of FUNGLODE and General Luis Luna Paulino, Chair of the National Emergency Commission emphasized that although tsunamis occur infrequently, the impact could be devastating and the task to prepare for such an event has to be ongoing. Dominican Republic has been affected by local and distant tsunamis. In 1946 two tsunamis are reported to have caused the death of over 1800 people along its northern coast. Currently, the county receives over 4 million visitors a year, 1.5 of which are US citizens. They are mostly attracted by its beautiful beaches where almost the entire tourism infrastructure is concentrated. The NWS Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program (CTWP), Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN) and UNESCO IOC Tsunami Program developed the syllabus and coordinated with the local experts and stakeholders from the Civil Defense, National Meteorological Office, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Ministry of Environment and Global Matrix Corporation for the organization and delivery of the course. Given the positive feedback, FUNGLODE has already requested the CTWP, UNESCO and PRSN to help co-organize additional courses in the summer of 2014 with deliveries in key tourist areas. The syllabus and material used for this course could also serve as the base for other trainings for the tourism sector.
In order to strengthen the efficient and effective interconnection among the four warning systems that make up the southeast Pacific region, UNESCO, in coordination with the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS), the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the national tsunami warning systems of Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, has promoted the elaboration of the document “Standardised Operating Procedures for Early Tsunami Warning Communications in the Southeast Pacific”.
The document was prepared with the support of the Seventh Plan of Action of the Disaster Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO) for South America of the South American Office of the European Community Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Directorate General (DG-ECHO).
This initiative was aimed at strengthening national early tsunami warning systems in order to generate a regional system through shared strategies and standardised procedures at the regional, national and local levels. The document was prepared with to the contribution of national institutions within the tsunami warning systems, such as oceanographic institutes, seismological services and national disaster risk management departments.
The Virtual Platform of the Regional Early Tsunami Warning System is a tool that has two purposes. The first is to act as a platform for the exchange of technical and educational information regarding tsunamis in the southeast Pacific region. The second purpose is to construct a virtual space for communications among the authorities responsible for the Tsunami Warning Systems in each of the four countries, using the Regional Communications Protocol as a guide.
The CPPS has developed the Regional System’s Virtual Platform, and it will be responsible for hosting and keeping this platform online and up-to-date. At the same time, it will make the Platform available for communications exercises related to the Protocol, to be carried out by the Regional Coordinator of the Southeast Pacific Early Tsunami Warning System.