Exercise Pacific Wave 08

Exercise Pacific Wave 08


Exercise Pacific Wave 08 took place from 0000 UTC to 2340 UTC on 29 October 2008.  Altogether, 34 Pacific countries confirmed their participation to the UNESCO IOC.  Additionally, 10 additional countries also successfully received PTWC messages by FAX or email.  Click here to download Participant List.  Click here to download Post-Exercise Evaluation Forms.

Click here to download Draft Exercise Pacific Wave 08 Summary Report.

PacWave08 Flyer

At the XXII session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (PTWS) held in Guayaquil, Ecuador in September 2007, Member States recognized that the PTWS requires regular testing and review and noted that simulating scenarios and learning lessons through exercises is an effective way to improve preparedness. They consequently recommended that a second Pacific-wide tsunami exercise be carried out in 2008. The name of the exercise will be “Exercise Pacific Wave 08” (PacWave08). PacWave08 will simulate a M9.2 earthquake off northwest Japan that will place Pacific countries into a Tsunami Warning situation, and will require Member State decision-making, and steps taken prior to public notification. These steps may be played during the PacWave08 dates or the following days. The exercise is not required to be conducted through to community level. Rather, the aim is to exercise the operational lines of communication within the PTWS without disrupting or alarming individual citizens. Member countries will, however, be encouraged to exercise, evaluate and report back on communication and decision making within a warning situation down to the level just prior to public notification. In order to ensure the commitment of participating countries is fully coordinated, IOC/UNESCO has sought official nominations from Member States for PacWave08 with whom it will communicate about the planning and conduct of the Exercise.

The Scenario. The simulated tsunami will be generated by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan at 40ºN, 143ºE that occurs on October 29, 2008 at 0000UTC.  An earthquake of this size would be likely to generate a tsunami with widespread destructive effects. Bulletins will be issued by the Northwest Pacific Tsunami Advisory Center, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the West Coast / Alaska Tsunami Warning Center for approximately 24 hours until the tsunami is simulated to have crossed the entire Pacific.

PacWave08 is intended to be carried out in a readiness style that aims to involve communication and decision making at Government levels, without disrupting or alarming the general public.  Individual countries, however, may at their discretion elect to extend the exercise down to the level of actually notifying the public.

In the case of a real event occurring during the exercise, PTWC, NWPTAC, and/or WC/ATWC will issue their normal message products for the event. Such messages will be given full priority and a decision will be made by each Center whether to continue or cease their participation in the exercise.  Smaller earthquakes that only trigger a Tsunami Information Bulletin are not anticipated to disrupt the PacWave08.

Click here to visit the IOC Official Exercise Pacific Wave 08 web site.


Information Documents

Document Title


IOC CL 2272 Pacific-wide Tsunami Exercise "Pacific Wave 08"
  [26 Sept 2008]

PDF  (182 KB)

IOC TS 82 Exercise Pacific Wave 08 Manual [22 Sept 2008]

PDF  (794 KB)

IOC/INF-1254 Exercise Pacific Wave '08 Summary Report (Draft)

PDF  (1.97 MB)

PacWave08 Flyer

PDF  (207 KB) 

Post-Exercise Evaluation Forms

DOC  (135 KB)

PacWave08 Participants as of 3 November 2008

XLS  (30.5 KB)

Media Reports


    UNESCO Press Release [22 Oct 2008]

PDF  (62.7 KB)

    Media Reports - 29 Oct 2008

DOC  (6.05 MB)

Calculated Tsunami Travel Times and Global Wave Heights


    Global Tsunami Travel Times and PTWC Watch/Warning Status
      2:21 hrs after origin

JPG  (279 KB)

    Pacific Tsunami Travel Times

JPG  (886 KB)

    Northwest Pacific Tsunami Travel Times

JPG  (1.12 MB)

    Northwest Pacific Tsunami Travel Times and PTWC Watch/Warning
      Status 2:24 hrs after origin

JPG  (1.21 MB)

    Hawaii Tsunami Travel Times and PTWC Watch/Warning Status
      2:26 hrs after origin

JPG  (1.02 MB)

    Tsunami Wave Heights in Deep Ocean from NOAA SIFT model

JPG  (115 KB)

IOC Recommendation ICG PTWS-XXII.4 Pacific-Wide Tsunami Exercise

PDF  (64.0 KB) 

PTWS Operational Users Guide [draft Dec 2007]

DOC  (6.05 MB)

PacWave08 Task Team

DOC  (28.0 KB) 

List of (provisional) PTWC Tsunami National Contacts

DOC  (101 KB)

Tsunami Warning System Info


    End-to-End Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems  [May 2006]

DOC  (274 KB)

    Tsunami Early Warning System Overview

JPG  (105 KB)

    End-to-End Tsunami Hazard Detection and Warning

JPG  (57.2 KB)

    Simplified Tsunami Warning System Schematic

JPG (211 KB)

Final Report Exercise Pacific Wave 06

PDF  (1.43 MB)




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