(i) to understand the roles and products of RTSPs;
(ii) to understand the impact of RTSP products and services on National Tsunami Warning Centre (NTWC) SOPs;
(iii) to identify potential gaps and possible challenges for NTWC and National Disaster Management Organisations (NDMO) SOPs;
(iv) to develop/adapt SOPs to interface with the media; and
(v) to prepare for the Indian Ocean Wave 2011 exercise.
The workshop was attended by 40 participants and trainers from 17 countries, with representatives from the RTSPs, NTWCs, NDMOs and media organisations. The participants were introduced to the new RTSP products and discussed their impact on national level SOPs. The role and responsibilities of the media in tsunami warning were also discussed. A tabletop exercise at the end of the workshop tested the participants knowledge of SOPs and provided them with an insight into the practical applications of the new RTSP products.
The workshop was co-sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Centre and was hosted by the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG).
A new agreement has been signed between the European Commission’s General Directorate for Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO) and UNESCO for 500,000 EUR to strengthen tsunami early warning capabilities in the Caribbean Region. The 15-month project “Strengthening Haitian capacities for tsunami early warning and preparedness” will offer continuity to ongoing efforts established by the Haitian Government and IOC/UNESCO after the 12 January Earthquake in 2010.
The objectives of the project are to continue to build awareness, knowledge, and response capacity on/for tsunami risks at institutional level. In addition, the new funding will allow to initiate tsunami preparedness initiatives at community level, including public awareness campaigns.
The group visited several significant sites in Banda Aceh city, including the Tsunami Museum and field sites in coastal areas where sedimentological evidence of the 2004 tsunami can be seen. The group learned about palaeotsunami research through practical experience, digging many trenches and taking cores in relevant sites. They also interviewed eyewitnesses of the 2004 tsunami to gain an understanding of the sociological impact of such events.
The Indonesian coast, between Banda Aceh and Meulaboh, after the earthquake and the tsunami of 26 December 2004. Photo by Evan Schneider © UN Photo
UNESCO supports Member States in improving capabilities for tsunami risk assessment, implementing early warning systems and enhancing preparedness of communities at risk. UNESCO works closely with national institutions and promotes inter-institutional and regional cooperation. Specialized regional centers provide tsunami information that, together with national analysis, is the basis of the warnings issued for the public. In addition, UNESCO promotes community-based approaches in the development of response plans and awareness campaigns which strongly involve education institutions and end-users.