9-27 August 2004

Columbia ITP 2004 Report

The 2004 International Training Programme took place during August 9-27th , at the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Provided by: COLOMBIA, Ing. Camilo Botero S.

The Delegation of Colombia at ITSU/ITP 2004 was presented for an answer to the question of IOC of possible candidates to participate in this program. In Colombia two different people presented: an research of the Southwest Seismic Observatory, and also me as a Technical Secretary of the Technical Secretary of National Tsunami Warning Committee.

My duties as a Technical Secretary of National Tsunami Warning Committee, is the coordination of with national different entities, that also had the responsibility of Tsunami Fields. This situation made that my interest in the training was general about all kin of subjects, because the information learned I must reply to each responsible entity. However, I had a particular interest about planning design and education campaigns.  For other side, my formation as environmental engineer makes interest me for different scientific fields, like the numerical modeling and knowledge advances in tsunami phenomenon.

Different visits to different places, direct contact with the people responsible of each emergency center and the PTWC, was determinants for understand the magnitude with that we must work the subject of warning tsunami field and the possible emergency attention. As the same way, the knowledge of the procedures permit to analyze the advance degree, that Colombia has in the warning system.

The homework and duties that rest are all, because the objective of assisted to this program is also to serve of catalyze about the main origin country.  Particularly in Colombia, we must find improve the warning procedures, disclose the evacuation maps exist and include the country in the regional warning systems. Also to increase with the requirement information to the early National Tsunami Risk Management Plan.

El Salvador ITP 2004 Report

The 2004 International Training Programme took place during August 9-27th , at the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Provided by: EL SALVADOR, Carlos Pullinger, SNET, El Salvador, cpullinger@snet.gob.sv 
The purpose of the training was to give the participants a general overview of how tsunami warning in the Pacific ocean is done, including information on what and how tsunamis are generated, warning centers and how they work, ongoing research on tsunamis and emergency preparedness, so that once the training is done, the participants can contribute to generating tsunami awareness in their countries.

The first three days of the training was spent attending presentations given by the Programme Director, Dr. Laura Kong, about science of earthquakes and tsunamis as well as on the responsibilities of different international and national actors in tsunamis such as IOC, ITSU, ITIC and PTWC. Two days were spent at the PTWC in order to get familiarized with the Center’s procedures, monitoring and warning capabilities. We were fortunate enough to experience an event that triggered the system’s alarms and caused PTWC’s personnel to respond to it, fortunately it was not a large one so no watches or warnings were issued.

During the second week of training we attended presentations on tsunamis and volcanoes of the 2004 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting (WPGM), held in Honolulu during August 16-20th. This was a very good experience because we were able to see some of the most recent research on volcanoes and tsunamis. In addition to attending WPGM, we visited State and County Civil Defense, which gave us an insight into how emergency personnel react to a message issued by PTWC.

On August 19-20th, we traveled to the island of Hawaii “the big island”, where we first visited Hawaii County’s Civil Defense to look at how the island that is most affected by natural hazards reacts to them. Following this, we visited the Tsunami Museum to learn about outreach programs that the island has and find out about damages caused by the 1946 and 1960 tsunamis that affected Hilo and towns around the island. We visited the Memorials and affected areas at Hilo and Laupahoehoe.

The following day was spent at the Kilauea National Park, where we looked at the active caldera and some other landforms in its surroundings. Paul Okubo, seismologist of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory showed us around and explained all the different techniques used at the observatory to monitor Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.

The final week of training was dedicated to learning about tsunami modeling, instrumentation, outreach and mitigation of tsunamis. Once again we visited PTWC to look at instrumentation used by the center, including sea level stations and seismic equipment. Richard Nygard, chief electronics engineer at the center took us to a site where a sea level station is installed.

Dr. Kwok Fai Cheung and some of his graduate students at the Department of Ocean & Resources Engineering of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, gave us a presentation about their research on modeling of tsunamis, which they hope to apply in the revision of the inundation maps for the islands of Hawaii.

On the last couple of days in Honolulu, we prepared presentations on our country’s efforts on tsunami mitigation. These were given to PTWC and ITC personnel on August 26th at the PTWC installations.

Overall, the Programme was very complete and it gave us a general overview of the different components of tsunami mitigation in the Pacific Ocean that enables us to continue efforts in our home countries. The most valuable knowledge that I gained where the personal and institutional accounts and experiences (positive and negative) that were shared with us during extended discussions in each particular presentation. Being able to see how PTWC, State and County Civil Defense work and interact was also a valuable lesson and more gratifying than just reading about it.

The lesson that I take back to El Salvador is the need to start an awareness program, first at an institutional and governmental level, followed by a national level. In order for El Salvador to be able to make strides on tsunami mitigation a lot of people need to be involved and a “snowball effect” has to occur so that tsunami preparedness and mitigation is incorporated into the national development plans and strategies.

Considering that tsunami hazards in the Pacific Ocean affect many countries and within each of these, several institutions are involved in mitigating their effects, I think there is still a need for future ITP sessions similar to the one we attended. However, a long term plan should be developed, so as to also permit focused training on specific topics of tsunami mitigation for key personnel of participating countries.


Circular Letter 2102

UNESCO - 1, rue Miollis - 75732 Paris Cedex 15
cable address: UNESCO Paris - telex: 204461 Paris - fax: (33) (0)1 45 68 58 12 - contact phone: (33) (0) 1 45 68 40 46
E-mail: p.pissierssens@unesco.org

Paris, 15 April 2004


(English only)

To: All ITSU National Co-ordinators
      ITSU Member States
cc: Chairman, Vice-Chairmen IOC
      Chairman, Vice-Chairman ITSU
      Director ITIC

Dear Sir/Madam,

Subject: UNESCO/IOC ICG/ITSU TRAINING PROGRAMME, 2004 (previously called ITIC Visiting Experts Programme)

Every year the ITSU Programme organizes specialized training for its Member States (ICG/ITSU Training Programme, ITP). Starting in 2004, the ITP Programme will expand its training opportunities to include the ITP-Hawaii and the ITP-International.

The ITP-Hawaii, conducted annually since the 1970s, will consist of a 3-week programme on tsunamis and tsunami warning systems held in Hawaii. An ITP-Hawaii 2004 programme description and provisional agenda is attached.

The ITP-International, newly established during ITSU-XIX, will consist of a 1-week programme held in a Member State that can follow the abbreviated agenda of the ITP-Hawaii and/or focus on the requested needs of the country requesting the assistance. Nominally, the incountry training will also include an evaluation of its tsunami warning risk, capacities to support a national warning system, and assistance in the development of tsunami awareness and other educational materials suitable for local distribution.

Depending on funding, ITSU will support the participation of 2-3 ITP-Hawaii participants, and up to one ITP-International visit. Participants are selected from applications received in response to an IOC Circular Letter.

With the current Circular Letter, ICG/ITSU Member States, and countries with tsunami warning interests, are invited to participate in the 2004 UNESCO/IOC ICG/ITSU Training Programme – Hawaii (ITP-Hawaii) to be held August 9 to August 27, 2004.

Due to financial limitations, only a few candidates will be selected to take part in the programme. I would appreciate it if the names of the candidates are provided to the IOC Secretariat, attention Peter Pissierssens (p.pissierssens@unesco.org), by 15 May 2004.

                                                          Yours sincerely,

                                                                P. Bernal
                                                       Executive Secretary IOC



The 2004 UNESCO/IOC ICG/ITSU Training Programme will be held August 9 to August 27, 2004 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. The Program, under the direction of the Director, International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC), provides two participants with an overview of the history and operation of the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific. Specific focus is given to the important role of regional and national tsunami warning centers in monitoring and evaluating the tsunamigenic potential of earthquakes, and in issuing timely tsunami warning messages to government emergency officials who can then act to save lives and reduce damage to coastal communities. The Programme provides training and familiarization with the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific, Regional Warning Systems, and Civil Defense procedures as carried out by the United States federal, state, and local governments.

Participants will engage in a series of informational presentations at ITIC and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and visits to Emergency Operations Centers, to seismic or water level station field sites, and to the University of Hawaii. At the end of the Program, participants will be expected to make a brief presentation on the status of tsunami mitigation measures in their respective countries. Additional topics covered by the Training Programme will be based on the needs of each participant. An agenda is attached.

This year, the Program will also be held in conjunction with the Western Pacific American Geophysical Union, August 16-20, 2004, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. Participants will have the opportunity to hear about recent tsunami investigations, and to meet scientists involved in tsunami research. A list of the current sessions can be accessed at http://submissions6.agu.org/wp04/search/search_results.asp?section=0&cosection=0&category=&keysearch=tsunami&title=1&desc=1&searchBy=sponsor

Within one month after returning to their countries, ITP participants are required to submit a Written Trip Report in English describing the activities they participated in, what they learned, and how they will use their training to improve tsunami warnings and/or awareness in their countries. Trip Report summaries will be published in October issue of ITIC’s Tsunami Newsletter.


Mr. Camilo Botero
Secretario Técnico, Comité Nacional de Alerta de Tsunami.
Comisión Colombiana del Océano, Colombia

Mr. Carlos Pullinger
Director, Servicio Geologico, Servicio Nacional de Estudios Territoriales (SNET), El Salvador

Mr. Ishmael C. Narag
Supervising Science Research Specialist
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Philippines

Mr. Steve Kuils
Dean Safety Management
NIBRA (Dutch Institute for Crisis & Disaster Management), The Netherlands

Mr. Cees Kersten
Graduate Student
NIBRA (Dutch Institute for Crisis & Disaster Management), The Netherlands

AGENDA, ITP-Hawaii 2004

Sat, Aug 7
Sun, Aug 8

Arrival, hotel check-in, orientation

Mon, Aug 9 Programme Logistics. ITIC Library Usage. Science Overview - Earthquakes, Tsunamis - generation, detection and characterization

Aug 10-11
ITSU, ITIC, and PTWC: Organization & Operations
TROIKA: Comprehensive Tsunami Mitigation
International and National Tsunami Warning Systems
   Requirements & Implementations
Regional and Local Tsunami Warning Systems for Hawaii
Other Stakeholders & Their Needs, Roles &
   Responsibilities Check out of Maile Sky Court hotel on Wed morning
Move to Ewa Beach, O’ahu (PTWC) on Wed afternoon
At PTWC, participate as Duty Watchstander

Aug 11-13
PTWC Operations
   as ITSU International Tsunami Warning Center
   as US National and Hawaii Regional Tsunami Warning
Monitoring, Detection and Evaluation Instrumentation
   and Methodologies (seismic, water level,
(Dr. Chip McCreery, Geophysicist-in-Charge) Return to Maile Sky Court hotel, Waikiki

Sat & Sun
Free days
WPGM Field Trip (optional, choose one)

Mon, Aug 16 Week 1 Recap and Summary
9:30 am: State Civil Defense Emergency Operations
   Center (Brian Yanagi, Earthquake and Tsunami
   Programme Manager)
State Emergency Agency Responses to PTWC Tsunami
   Messages Attend WPGM Tsunami Session (Afternoon)

Tues, Aug 17 Meet at ITIC, or Attend WPGM Sessions (Morning)
2 pm: Oahu County Civil Defense Emergency Operations
   Center (John Cummings, Public Information Officer)
County Emergency Agency Responses to PTWC Tsunami

Wed, Aug 18 Meet at ITIC, or Attend WPGM Sessions (Morning)
Hazard Assessment and Risk Evaluation overview
Global Historical Database (GTDB)
Preparation for Hawaii Island trip

Thurs & Fri,
Aug 19-20
Check out of Maile Sky Court hotel on Thurs morning
Hotel pickup: 6 am Field trip to Hawaii Island
Aloha Airlines Flt 42, dep 7:45 am, arr 8:34 am

Thurs, Aug 19 Hawaii County Civil Defense Emergency Operations
   Center (George Curtis, Hawaii County Tsunami
Pacific Tsunami Museum (Donna Saiki, Director)
Tsunami memorials Stay in Volcano at:
My Island Bed & Breakfast Inn, P.O. Box 100, Volcano, Hawaii 96785
Phones: (808) 967-7216, Fax: (808) 967-7719

Fri, Aug 20 U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
   (Dr. Paul Okubo) Return to Maile Sky Court hotel, Waikiki
Aloha Airlines Flt 235, dep 3:54 pm, arr 4:40 pm

Sat & Sun Free days

Mon, Aug 23 Morning: Preparation of Country presentations
Afternoon: Seismic & Water Level Instrumentation,
   PTWC (Rich Nygard)

Tues, Aug 24 Morning:Tsunami Mitigation – Education, Outreach, 
   Mitigation, Countermeasures Awareness, and Public
Afternoon: Visit seismic and water level field sites on
   Oahu (Rich Nygard)

Wed, Aug 25 Morning (9:30 – 11:30 am): Tsunami modeling and
   inundation mapping Dr. Kwok Fai Cheung (Ocean &
   Resources Engineering, University of Hawaii, Manoa)
Afternoon: Tsunami Mitigation – Education, Outreach,
   Mitigation, Countermeasures Awareness, and Public

Thurs, Aug 26 Morning: Preparation of Country presentations
Afternoon at PTWC: Trainee presentations
Fri, Aug 27 Future Directions, International and National
Travel voucher preparation. Summary and Closing.





Outrigger Malia Sky Court
2058 Kuhio Ave.
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96815
Ph: 1-808-947-2828 Fax: 1-808-943-0504
Non-smoking - queen bed, standard kitchenette:
Rate: $72.42/night ($65/night (room) + $7.42/night (tax))

Camilo Botero: 8/7-8/27
AA 267 LAX Honolulu 6:10pm 8:41pm 07 August Sat
AA 298 Honolulu LAX 9:30pm 5:37am+1 27 August Fri
Hotel Confirmation:
August 7-11 Confirmation # 823-264-51
August 13-19 Confirmation # 657-935-51
August 20-27 Confirmation # 857-935-51

Ishmael Narag: 8/7-8/28
PR 100 Manila Honolulu 3:30pm 7:45am 07 August Sat
PR 101 Honolulu Manila 9:45am 2:30pm+1 28 August Sat
Hotel Confirmation:
August 7-11 Confirmation # 323-264-51
August 13-19 Confirmation # 637-935-51
August 20-28 Confirmation # 837-935-51

Carlos Pullinger: 8/8-8/27

UA 57 Miami Honolulu 9:30am 4:53pm 08 August Sunday
UA ?? Honolulu Miami 10:30pm 3:46pm+1 27 August Friday
Hotel Confirmation:
August 8-11 Confirmation # 523-264-51
August 13-19 Confirmation # 417-935-51
August 20-27 Confirmation # 817-935-51

You will need to pay for your hotel room and other miscellaneous programme expenses yourself.  It is very helpful if you bring a credit card to use when you register at the hotel; otherwise, they may want you to pay in advance if you have cash. There will be a 3-day visit to PTWC August 11-13, and 2-day trip to Hawaii island for which you will have to check out for; upon return, you will be staying at the same hotel so you may leave a bag in Honolulu at the hotel or with the ITIC during the interisland trip. For the interisland trip, you are responsible for paying your hotel bill with the travel advance.



ITIC will provide reimburse you for meals at a flat per diem rate of about $40/day. Actual receipts for meals are not required, and you are free to spend as little, or as much, as you would like each day for meals; in other words, if you spend more, ITIC will not pay for the extra amount over the flat per diem rate. Breakfast and dinners during the week, and all meals on the weekends will be on your own; we will lunch together during the week, but you should each pay for your meal yourself.

Travel Advance:


We have arranged for each person to receive a travel advance of about $2800. This check should be available when you arrive. However, in case there is a delay, we recommend that you arrive with enough cash or a credit card to pay for your food expenses for a week. The advance will provide about $1000 to cover meals and other travel expenses, about $1600 to cover Honolulu lodging, and about $200 to cover the interisland lodging.

Reimbursement of Expenses:


At the end, you will need to file a travel voucher which lists your all of your expenses, including lodging, any miscellaneous expenses and the airfare. Based on this accounting, you will then be reimbursed for all programme expenses. Please keep all receipts that you will want to ask reimbursement for. Depending on your travel itinerary, it is possible that will receive an additional amount to cover the actual days you were here. The reimbursement process may take several months once your travel voucher is filed.



ITIC will provide you with a Honolulu Bus System Pass that will allow you unlimited use of the bus system on the island of O‘ahu. A Map Guide Book will be included in your packet given to you when you arrive.

Laura will provide Airport–to/from-Hotel transportation at your arrival and on your departure.

Each day, we will meet at the ITIC office at 9:00 am and finish by 4:30-5 pm each day. On the first morning (August 9, 2004), we will pick you up at your hotel at 9 am, and show you the route the city bus will take to our office. On subsequent days, you will be responsible for taking the bus to and from ITIC each morning. The route is very easy, however, and should take less than 30 minutes. A map is included. Simple directions are: Take the Number 19 or 20 bus. It will run along Ala Moana Blvd towards the Aloha Tower/Honolulu Airport. The bus will pass the US Federal Building (300 Ala Moana Blvd) and you should get off the bus immediately after it turns right onto Alakea St. ITIC is located in the Pacific Guardian Center, Mauka tower (mountain-side) on the 22nd floor - the building consists of two the mirrored-glass towers (30 stories high) across the street in front of you when you get off the bus. Bus stops to return to Waikiki are most conveniently caught on Punchbowl Street about two blocks from the ITIC office.



The dress code is casual (e.g, coat and tie are not needed). The climate is tropical, usually sunny, and the temperature ranges from 23 during the night to 31 deg Celsius in the day (mid-70s to 90 deg F); humidity is usually low compared to that found in southeast Asia and central America. When we go to Hawai‘i island (also called the Big Island) and up to Kilauea volcano at 1000 meters elevation, it will be cooler (18-20 deg Celsius) so you may want to bring a sweater.

Hawai`i Island Field Trip:


There will be one 1-night field trip to Hawai`i island (Big Island) August 19-20, 2004. ITIC will arrange ground and air transportation, and hotel accommodations, but you will have to use your cash advance to pay for the hotel. We will visit tsunami sites around Hilo, and then the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. More detailed information will be given later.

Emergency Expenses:


If there are miscellaneous, or other emergency expenses, ITIC has a small budget for these, and you may be able to claim these as long as they were directly necessary for your use during the ITSU Training Programme. Please ask Laura is you are unsure.

Telecommunications and Computers:


Computers and Internet access, and printers will be available at the ITIC office for checking email, looking up materials in the ITIC library database, and using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint,) or other software to prepare your reports or presentations. Please let Laura or Linda know if you need anything. Telephone and FAX services will also be available for your use at the office; emergency calls back to your country for official business are permitted on a limited basis. If you are bringing a computer, it should be possible to connect your computer to our Internet system.

ITIC Contact Information:


Laura Kong, Director

Emilio Lorca, Associate Director (Chile)

Linda Sjogren, Technical Information Specialist

Tammy Kaitoku, ITIC Webmaster

ITIC Office Address:


Pacific Guardian Center, Mauka Tower
737 Bishop St., Ste 2200
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813

Phone numbers:

Laura Kong: Office: 1-808-532-6423
Cell: 1-808-265-7046
Home: 1-808-737-3994

Linda Sjogren: Office: 1-808-532-6422

ITIC FAX number: 1-808-532-5576

Email: laura.kong@noaa.gov, Linda.Sjogren@noaa.gov
General Email: itic.tsunami@noaa.gov

URL: http://www.tsunamiwave.info

ITIC Associate Director:


Emilio Lorca: Office:
Servicio Hidrográfico y Oceanográfico de la Armada de Chile
Errázuriz 232, Playa Ancha, Casilla 324
Valparaíso, Chile
Phone : 56-32-266-689
Cell: 56-988-74835
Fax: 56-32-266-542
E-mail: elorca@shoa.cl





find us on facebook

Featured Resources

banner materiales educativos

Regional Disaster Information Center (Latin America & the Caribbean)

A database of Spanish language materials focused on tsunami preparedness.
dsc00149 thumbnail

Post-Tsunami Survey:
El Salvador Summary Video

Learn the basics of a post-tsunami survey.

TsunamiTeacher USA
Tsunami Basics

Also on YouTube youtube_logo
(w/closed captioning)

Learn the basics of tsunamis. Available in English and Samoan.

Tsunamis on the Move

Tsunami Awareness Poster

Awareness poster available in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Singalese.


Global Hazard Maps

Posters of Tsunami Sources, Significant Earthquakes and Significant Volcanic Eruptions. Also Tsunami Sources Icosohedron Globe.

great waves en 12 small thumbnail

Tsunami, The Great Waves

Available in English, Spanish, French and Chinese.


tsunami glossary 2013 thumbnail

Tsunami Glossary

Available in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Bahasa. 



Where the First Wave Arrives in Minutes

Available in English, Bahasa, Spanish and French.


DVD copies for PC and Macintosh computers are available free of charge from the ITIC, Hawaii (itic.tsunami@noaa.gov).

Hosted by:
UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE Oostende, Belgium
© 2015 International Tsunami Information Center | A UNESCO/IOC-NOAA Partnership
1845 Wasp Boulevard, Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818, USA | Tel: +1 808 725 6050 | Fax: +1 808 725 6055