(L - R) -- ICG/NEAMTWS Technical Secretary Thorkild Aarup, U.S. Delegation Leader Bill Proenza, CTWP Manager Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, ICG/NEAMTWS Chair Francois Schindele and Trevor Guymer, Head of UK Intergovernmental Coordination Group (Photo: UK-IOC)
(Sept. 24, 2012) - Reducing potentially disastrous impacts from a major tsunami in the northeastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and connected seas was the primary goal of delegates from the United States, Europe and the Caribbean who gathered in Southampton, UK, September 11-13. It was the ninth session of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/NEAMTWS).
One of the key goals of the meeting was to develop and accredit Tsunami Watch Providers (TWP). Currently, there are three TWP centers located in France, Turkey and Greece. Two additional countries, Italy and Portugal, anticipate having their centers operational by 2013.
TWP centers will be tasked with issuing to its subscribers earthquake parameters as well as expected tsunami arrival times for forecast points provided by the participating member states. The member states are now in the process of subscribing to the corresponding services.
NOAA/NGDC Physical Scientist Paula Dunbar delivers presentation at ICG/NEAMTWS meeting (Photo: UK-IOC)
The scenarios were provided by Portugal (Northeastern Atlantic) and France, Greece and Turkey for the Mediterranean. During the exercise, each of the four countries will be issuing products from their tsunami centers.
The group has also established the North-Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Tsunami Information Center (http://neamtic.ioc-unesco.org/) which has prepared and makes available information on tsunamis and good practices.
Bill Proenza, regional director for the NWS Southern Region and head of the United States delegation noted, "We also see an excellent opportunity here for more collaboration with the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, which maintains a global tsunami database, as well as the National Weather Service International Tsunami Information Center."
In addition to Proenza, the U.S. delegation included Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade, manager of the National Weather Service Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program and Paula Dunbar, physical scientist, NOAA/National Geophysical Data Center.