This is a short overview of the activities implemented by the ITSU Programme in 2003
Annual Report ITSU 2003
1. TRAINING AND EDUCATION
Every year the ITSU Programme organizes specialized training for its Member States (ICG/ITSU Training Programme, ITP). The 2003 ITP was held 4-15 August for one seismologist from Indonesia and one oceanographer from Chile. The course gave increased attention on how to prepare for the local or regional tsunami threat; specific activities included discussions on the operations of the local tsunami warning system with PTWC, and visits to the Hawaii State Civil Defense and Hawaii County Civil Defence agencies. In addition support was provided to enable an expert from Ecuador to train in Mexico (short-term). The ITIC Director also provided a one-day training to Directors of the Meteorological and Geophysical Agency’s Regional Seismic Centers during the workshop “In Memoriam of 120 years Krakatau Eruption-Tsunami and Lesson Learned from Large Tsunami”, held in Jakarta and Anyer, Indonesia, 26-29 August 2003.
2. PUBLICATIONS AND AWARENESS TOOLS
The International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) continued the publication of the “ITSU Newsletter”, producing five issues in 2003. Work also continued on the Tsunami Information Kit. This product will be finalized in 2004. The tsunami glossary was finalized in English, French and Spanish. The IOC/ITSU web site was completely re-engineered using the IOC/IODE BeeBox software.
3. REGIONAL AND OTHER TSUNAMI WARNINGS
In Central America, the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rico, and Panama, developed a plan for a Regional Tsunami Warning System along the Central America Pacific Coast. The plan was presented at the September meeting of the CEPREDENAC Board of Directors. The country of Indonesia reported its intention to implement a National Tsunami Warning System using existing and planned installations of real-time broadband seismograph stations and tide gauges.
The long-standing cooperation between ITSU and the IUGG Tsunami Commission (IUGG/TC) continued in 2003 in terms of coordination of the joint project HTDB/PAC and by co-organizing workshops. The international workshop “In Memoriam of 120 years Krakatau Eruption-Tsunami and Lesson Learned from Large Tsunami” was held in Jakarta and Anyer, Indonesia, 26-29 August 2003. It was attended by more than 100 Indonesian participants as well as by international experts from Japan, Germany and Russia. A second joint event organized in 2003 was the international workshop “tsunamis in the South and Central Pacific – research towards Preparedness and Mitigation” that was held in Wellington, New Zealand on 25 and 26 September. It was attended by 86 participants from 18 countries. Both workshops resulted in recommendations that were subsequently tabled at ISTU-XIX.
The Nineteenth Session of the International Coordination Group for the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific was held in Wellington, New Zealand, from 29 September to 3 October 2003 under the Chairmanship of Dr. François Schindelé. It was attended by 34 participants from fifteen ICG/ITSU Member States, two organizations and two observers from other countries.
The Session reviewed progress made during the inter-sessional period 2001-2003 and drafted its work plan for the period 2004-2005. This work plan will focus on (i) continued support for the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC); (ii) support for the development of the Global Tsunami Data Base (GTDB) and the new Integrated Tsunami Data Base (ITDB) consisting of the WinHTDB graphic shell and a Tsunami Travel Time (TTT) module; (iii) finalization of the Tsunami Information Kit; (iv) support for the newly established Working Group on a Comprehensive Tsunami Hazard Reduction Programme (TROIKA); (v) support the newly established Working Group on the Central American Pacific Coast Tsunami Warning System (CAPC-TWS); and (vi) support the newly established Working Group on the Tsunami Warning System in the Southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean (SWP-TWS). The Group further decided to (i) study possibilities for cooperation with JCOMM; (ii) increase the duration of its ITSU Training Programme held in Hawaii (ITP-Hawaii) to three weeks, and establish an international component (ITP-International) for in-country assistance to Member States; (iii) establish a “Pool of Experts” to assist Member States with expert missions; (iv) accept the “Tsunami Hazard Zone” and “Tsunami Evacuation Route” signs and submit these to ISO; (v) recommend formal collaborative links with the Circum-Pacific Council; (vi) reduce the frequency of the Tsunami Newsletter to 4 issues per year; (vii) redefine the terms of reference of the IOC-ITSU and ITIC web sites; (viii) recommend close(r) collaboration with GLOSS, ISDR and with CEPREDENAC.
The Group further revised the ITSU Master Plan Conclusions adding focus on the acquisition of data in real-time and optimizing the network to ensure accurate warning issuance and minimization of false warnings. The Group requested to urgently proceed with the Review of the ITSU Programme in 2004.
The Group re-elected Dr. François Schindelé and Dr. Charles McCreery as Chair and Vice-Chair of ITSU respectively. The Group welcomed Mr. Emilio Lorca as the new ITIC Associate Director, replacing Cmdr. Rodrigo Nuñez.
During the Intersessional Period (since May 2006), the ITIC continued to strongly support the efforts of the IOC Tsunami Programme as the lead Centre for sharing experience and know-how, based on the Pacific, with regions starting to implement tsunami warning and mitigation systems in the world’s oceans and marginal seas. This Report, first provided to the ICG/IOTWS-IV, gives a overview of the ITIC’s contributions to assist the region and Member States to improve and strengthen the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. The Report includes descriptions of how ITIC is supporting the operational needs of the PTWS and interim IOTWS services.
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