27.03.2017 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Building Resilient Comunities and Tsunami Warning Systems in Central America

©Shutterstock: Tsunami Hazard Sign

UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) coordinates workshops on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and mechanisms of coordination between scientific and natural disaster response agencies to build more resilient communities in the Caribbean.

Given the potential scenarios of earthquakes likely to generate tsunamis, both in the Central American Pacific and in the Caribbean, it is essential to establish coordination, liaison and institutional response mechanisms. These mechanisms would enable efficient decision-making processes that would allow the public to be alerted and would ensure their safety in case of such events.

As part of the implementation of the DIPECHO Project "Building Resilient Communities and Integrated Tsunami Warning Systems in Central America", implemented by UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and funded by the European Union, national workshops were held in Nicaragua and Guatemala to improve the capacity to respond to tsunamis by developing Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) and strengthening coordination mechanisms between scientific and response agencies.

The main goal of the activity was to strengthen the Tsunami Early Warning System by validating their coordination protocols and by standardizing their tsunami alert procedures. The workshop in Nicaragua took place on the 9 th and 10 th of March, and was attended by 21 people, including representatives of SINAPRED, INETER, Civil Defense and territorial level delegates.

In Guatemala, it was held on March 16 th and 17 th , and was attended by 31 people, namely representatives of CONRED, INSIVUMEH, territorial level delegates, universities, and organizations working on issues related to early warning.

The workshops yielded many results, such as a preliminary assessment of the status of issuing tsunami warnings for each country and a review of the process and the steps for issuing alerts. The distribution of the institutional functions of each of these steps, and the preparation of flowcharts on which activities should be undertaken depending on the alert level of the Early Warning System were also among the results identified.

For more information, please contact:

Bernardo Aliaga (b.aliaga(at)unesco.org)




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