The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System : one year afterThe Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG) for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWAS) will meet in Hyderabad (India) from 14 to 16 December * to review the new system and identify what remains to be done.
The warning and mitigation system consists of enhanced seismographic networks, networks of real-time sea-level gauges and deep-sea ocean pressure sensors, along with national tsunami warning centres linked to national disaster management systems: in effect, “a coordinated network of national systems”, whose assets are “owned and operated by the Member States hosting or otherways taking responsibility for them”. It is expected to be fully operational by July 2006.
- Twenty-three real-time sea level stations have been established in the countries of the Indian Ocean, completing the upgrading of the sea-level network.
- Twenty-five countries have established communications centres to receive advisories, based at this stage on seismological information from the operational centres serving the Pacific in Hawaii and Tokyo.
- Improvements have been made in the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) to allow it to carry tsunami relevant information.
- Experiments are being conducted to test communication links for the transmission of seismic information in real-time.
- Several countries in the region are also working on the deployment of deep-ocean tsunami detection instruments – known as DART buoys.
On a national level, public awareness and safety brochures, flyers, products for mass, school curricula and other information materials have been designed, translated into local languages and distributed to a wide range of audiences.
Regional workshops, involving UN agencies, national institutes, broadcasting agencies and NGOs are being held at regular intervals so that weather warning experts and participants can share experiences and draw up plans to implement public awareness campaigns. Nineteen countries in the region have requested that the IOC carry out assessment studies to ensure that their national warning systems cover all bases and to make effective use of international aid funds.
*The meeting will be held at the Viceroy Hotel, Hyderabad