Under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System first convened in 1968 (ICG/PTWS, formerly known as ICG/ITSU for International Tsunami). An international cooperative effort involving many Member States of the Pacific Region, ICG/PTWS meets regularly to review progress and coordinate activities resulting in improvements of the service.
The IOC maintains the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC). Established in 1965 and staffed by the U.S.A and Chile, the ITIC works closely with NOAA’s Richard H. Hagemeyer Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC), and other international tsunami centres such as Japan's Northwest Pacific Tsunami Advisory Center (NWPTAC) and NOAA's US National Tsunami Warning Center (US NTWC).
ITIC's primary responsibilities also include:
The PTWC serves as the operational warning headquarters for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. PTWC works closely with other international, sub-regional and national centers in monitoring seismic and sea level stations around the Pacific Ocean for large earthquakes and tsunami waves. The PTWS makes use of more than 400 high-quality seismic stations around the world to locate potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes, and accesses nearly 400 coastal and deep-ocean sea level stations globally to verify the generation and evaluate the severity of a tsunami. The system disseminates tsunami information and warning messages to designated national authorities in over 100 locations across the Pacific. Sub-regional centres such as the US NTWC and NWPTAC provide regional alerts to the U.S.A. west coast, Alaska and Canada, and the northwest Pacific and South China Sea regions, respectively.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System is one of the most successful international scientific programmes with the direct humanitarian aim of mitigating the effects of tsunami to save lives and property.
*Not IOC Member State, 1China, 2Federated States of Micronesia, 3Marshall Islands, 4France, 5UK, 6US
Updated 20 July 2012