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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



El gobierno dominicano pone en vigencia manual de procedimiento en caso de tsunamis

The Dominican Republic government put into effect Tsunami Procedures Manual


El gobierno dominicano, con el apoyo de Naciones Unidas, puso en vigencia el Manual de Procedimientos Operacionales Normalizados (SOP) para salvar vidas y evitar pérdidas materiales en caso de tsunamis.


Durante un acto celebrado este lunes 27 de octubre en la Casa de Naciones Unidas, representantes del Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias (COE), del Instituto Sismológico Universitario (ISU-UASD) y de la Oficina Nacional de Meteorología (ONAMET) se comprometieron a velar por la implementación del manual que delimita las funciones de cada entidad en caso de tsunamis.


Esta actividad es apoyada por la UNESCO/COI y el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) en el marco del proyecto “Comunidades Resilientes a Sismos y Tsunamis en Puerto Plata” que cuenta con el financiamiento de la Dirección General de Ayuda Humanitaria y Protección Civil de la Comisión Europea y de la ONG española Anesvad.


La representante residente adjunta del PNUD, Luciana Mermet, anunció que el jueves 30 de octubre se realizará un  simulacro de evacuación junto el equipo de “Acción Tsunami” de Puerto Plata y del sector educativo de la provincia. La meta será evacuar a más de dos mil estudiantes de cinco centros escolares de Puerto Plata que se localizan en  zonas vulnerables a terremotos y tsunamis.


Mermet compartió la mesa principal con el subdirector del Centro de Operaciones de Emergencia, Edwin Olivares, la directora de ONAMET, Gloria Ceballos, el representante del ISU, Félix Martínez, la oficial de programas de la Comisión Europea, Gina Sosa, la coordinadora de la Unidad de Gestión de Riesgos del Ministerio de Educación, Milagros Yost, el representante de la Comisión Nacional de Emergencia, José Alcántara y el Profesor Miguel Llivina de la Oficina de UNESCO en La Habana.



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