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Going “Tsunami Ready” in the Indian Ocean: A UNESCO Online Lecture Series

Date: 7 October 2020

UNESCO launched an Online Lecture Series to highlight how its Tsunami Ready Program is motivating and encouraging communities in the Indian Ocean to reduce to a minimum the risks from future tsunamis on lives and property.

The six-part lecture series targets community leaders, disaster management offices, NGOs and citizens at large to inform about the Tsunami Ready Program and encourage them to implement the program’s risk reduction protocols and indicators to be recognized as Tsunami Ready by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

Entitled “Interactive Expert Sessions on Piloting IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready in the Indian Ocean”, the lecture series is organized by the Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) of UNESCO’s IOC, based in UNESCO’s Jakarta Office, and Indonesia’s Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG).

More than simple webinars, the lecture series invites all participants to take part in high level discussion between community members, international experts, and UNESCO representatives about the opportunities and challenges of making vulnerable communities in the Indian Ocean “Tsunami Ready”, in line with international standards set by the UNESCO program. Certificates of completion are awarded for participation on all six sessions.

Throughout six sessions, the lecture series actively calls for more Indian Ocean communities to implement the 12 tsunami preparedness indicators elaborated by UNESCO’s IOC, and to apply for the “Tsunami Ready” recognition. To showcase how this has been successfully done, invited experts from the region will highlight each of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready indicators, and share practical experience and examples of communities who have received the IOCUNESCO Tsunami Ready Recognition.

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For further information, please contact:

Ardito M Kodijat, Head of the UNESCO-IOC IOTWMS Secretariat

a.kodijat@unesco.org or iotic@unesco.org

 

Quick links to all sessions:

Lecture Session 1 (4 September 2020): See full recording on Facebook

Lecture Session 2 (11 September 2020): See full recording on Facebook

Lecture Session 3 (18 September 2020): See full recording on Facebook

Lecture Session 4 (25 September 2020): coming soon

Lecture Session 5 (2 October 2020):  See full recording in Facebook

Lecture Session 6 (9 October 2020): Register on http://bit.ly/Tsunami-Ready-REG6

 

Lecture Series Highlights

The 1st Lecture Series on Getting Community Tsunami Ready and Tsunami Ready Community in India | IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready  

tsunami ready lecture 1

The inaugural first lecture was attended by 382 participants from 33 countries, 18 of which from the Indian Ocean region, with individual participants coming from Disaster Risk Management Offices, National Tsunami Warning Centres, Universities, Non-governmental organization, among other institutions. The session was moderated by Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director and Representatives of UNESCO Office Jakarta, and had two key lectures: Bernardo Aliaga, Head of Tsunami Unit of IOC UNESCO and Srinivasa Kumar Tummala, Director of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (India).

Mr. Aliaga introduced the IOC Tsunami Ready program aims to encourage and recognize community-based tsunami preparedness, explaining how the program is built on 12 indicators drawn from global best practices in tsunami preparedness, which measure the capacity of a community to respond to a tsunami under three key areas: Mitigation, Preparedness, and Response. The Safer Ocean objective of the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (referred to as “the Ocean Decade”) will also act as a catalyst to significantly increase the number of Tsunami Ready Communities worldwide.

Going into the regional perspective, Prof. Khan and Dr. Tummala discussed about how the Tsunami Ready program has been successfully piloted in India’s coastal provinces. India took this as an opportunity to strengthen the coastal communities’ knowledge and capacity on tsunami preparedness with strong involvement of every level of the Disaster Management Offices (DMO), at the national level such as Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Home Affairs, NDMA, and Province level DMOs of Odisha, then District, Block and Village level DMOs. Ultimately, however, the success rests with communities’ enthusiastic implementation and continuous volunteer work.

At its vital core, the Tsunami Ready program by UNESCO’s IOC mends the bridge between scientific organizations, technical organizations, disaster management office, and communities that are more often than not very enthusiastic about having the opportunity to contribute to their own resilience vis-à-vis the destructive menace of tsunamis.

The 2nd Lecture Series on IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready takes the topic of Tsunami Hazard and Risk Reduction | IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready Indicators 1, 2 and 4

tsunami ready lecture 2

 

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOC) – UNESCO organized the second IOTIC Lecture Online Series on Tsunami Hazard and Risk Reduction: the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready Indicators 1,2 and 4.  This online lecture, which conducted on 11 September 2020, featured Mr. Ardito M. Kodijat, Head of Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre- IOC UNESCO Indonesia, as the moderator and two guest lectures from different institutions, Ms. Sunanda Maneela, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (ICOIS), Dr. Harkunti P. Rahayu, the Chair of Working-Group 1 of  Intergovernmental Coordination Group on Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System(ICG/IOTWMS). 

This 2nd online lecture aimed to improve knowledge and understanding of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program. Furthermore, its objective is to foster the communities, Non-Governmental Organizations, Tsunami Warning Centres, Disaster Management Offices, and other related stakeholders to achieve the Tsunami Ready Indicators and build the community’s resilience.

In the first session, Ms. Sunanda discussed the importance of a tsunami hazard map for the community. Hazard maps, which also depicted the community's socio-economic data, are critical tools for preparing and educating the public about the hazard map and the appropriate response before an impending tsunami. In developing a reliable and science-based tsunami hazard map, the multiple jurisdiction and community engagement are required to create the inundation model. The inundation model is the primary source to illustrate the common areas to be flooded by the tsunami. The community engagement could make a valuable contribution in the map development derived from how people perceive and interpret risks, particularly past experiences. She shared ICOIS’s experience creating the tsunami hazard map, which integrated the local knowledge and technical expertise. Ms. Sunanda underlined the need of a 5-years review as the coastal regions are the most dynamic areas compared to the other regions because of highly affected by storms, floods, erosion, infrastructure developments, and tourism activities. At the end of the first session, she outlined alternative ways for countries with adequate tsunami modelling capacity. Among others are the community engagement in selecting a good elevation and identifying all areas below the elevation to create tsunami hazard maps.

The lecture proceeded with Dr. Harkunti’s explanation of knowing how to expose a community to tsunami hazards. This topic discussion corresponded to the indicator two on developing an initial estimate of the number of people living in the tsunami hazard zone and indicator four on expanding an inventory of available resources to reduce tsunami risk at the community level. Dr. Harkunti affirmed that these indicators are the key ingredient of formulating the tsunami risk reduction plan. This plan is a guideline for the community to face the challenges. In developing of that plan, the participatory approach is essential to strengthening the ownership or sense of belonging from the community. She pointed out the two schemes in creating a participatory process. The triple helix consists of community, government, and business sector. While the community acted as the main actor due to their knowledge, exposures, and experiences, the government and business sector support the community’s initiatives financially and legally. The second scheme is Penta helix, which adds two other actors: academics and media. The academic will provide a scientific insight into the community’s initiatives and upscale the community's data. At the same time, the media disseminates the best practices and information to other regions. Besides the participatory approach, formulating a tsunami risk reduction plan requires the coverage of all disaster stages from pre-disaster and post-disaster activities.

In responding to the 2nd indicator, Dr. Harkunti stressed the importance of providing meaningful and precise data to better risk reduction plans and emergency response. She stated that calculating temporary and non-residents such as migrant workers and visitors are as crucial as the permanent residents. As for indicator 4, she fostered to take local wisdom and enough financial resources such as the Village fund in the Indonesia case – into consideration. She added that the budget mismanagement and negligence of local knowledge and social could have a severe impact of developing and implementing tsunami risk reduction plans.

Around 390 participants in zoom and 43 participants in the Facebook live engaged in the discussion.  It estimated 44 countries where 15 of them from the Indian Ocean member states. This second lecture received positive feedbacks from the participants, where 387 participants were pleased with the lessons. The participants felt that the course gave a good insight into disaster management and community building. Furthermore, the lecture was helpful for the participant’s work in various fields ranging from Tsunami warning centre, disaster management offices, university, to business sectors.

The 3rd IOTIC Online Lecture Series on Tsunami Information and Evacuation Plan | IOC- UNESCO Tsunami Indicators 3 and 5

tsunami ready lecture 3

In the third lecture, The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOC) – UNESCO organized the  IOTIC Lecture Online Series on Tsunami Hazard and Risk Reduction: the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready Indicators 3  and 5.  This online lecture, which conducted on 18 September 2020, featured Mr. Ardito M. Kodijat, Head of Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre- IOC UNESCO Indonesia, as the moderator and two guest lectures, Mr. Nick Kuster, NSW State Emergency Service Australia, and Mr. Harald Spahn, Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation Expert, Germany. This 3rd online lecture aimed to improve knowledge and understanding of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program. Furthermore, its objective is to foster the communities, Non-Governmental Organizations, Tsunami Warning Centres, Disaster Management Offices, and other related stakeholders to have a public display of tsunami information and produce easily understood tsunami evacuation map in collaboration with the local community.

In the first session, Mr. Nick Kuster discussed the tsunami information’s public display corresponding the indicator 3 of IOC -UNESCO Tsunami ready. He underlined the importance of the public display of tsunami information, which has a considerable role in protecting people, providing valuable information for related stakeholders’ decision making, and strengthening community resilience. In formulating tsunami information, it should convey a simple, clear, and non-ambiguous message to the public. Furthermore, the public tsunami information should raise awareness instead of instilling fear in the community. Mr. Nick pointed out that the public display of tsunami information could be in the form of billboards and signages. He affirmed the previous lecture on the importance of the community’s engagement and other stakeholders in developing the tsunami information, designing evacuation strategy and map,

The lecture proceeded with Mr. Harald Spahn discussing on the tsunami evacuation plan. He outlined the Evacuation Planning process consisting 5 processes. First, preparing the planning requires relevant data, resources, and related stakeholders, particularly the local community. The next process is the design of the evacuation strategy and map. It is essential to calculate and consider evacuation time, safe areas, assembly point, evacuation modes, shelter, routes, signages, self-evacuation timing, and other supports. Mr. Harald continued the process with the public assessment, local endorsement, and dissemination of the plan. The sixth process is evaluating the plan through tsunami simulation exercise as the means of observations and improvement. In the last second session, Mr. Harald reiterated the importance of the evacuation plan, which has a vital role in community preparedness. Therefore, it is crucial to engage the expert and more related stakeholder involved in developing the tsunami evacuation plan.

Around 363 participants in zoom and 45  participants in the Facebook live engaged in the discussion.  It estimated 29 countries where 16 of them from the Indian Ocean member states. This third lecture received positive feedbacks from the participants, where most participants were pleased with the lessons. The participants felt that the course broadened their horizons about tsunami and enhanced participants' capacity in various fields, particularly teachers, to disseminate the tsunami information.

The 4th IOTIC Online Lecture Series on Tsunami Education, Outreach, and Exercise | IOC- UNESCO Tsunami Ready Indicators 6, 7, and 8

tsunami ready lecture 4

Public outreach, education, and annual exercise are essential to enhance the community’s preparedness and resilience. In the fourth IOTIC lecture series, IOC -UNESCO organized an online lecture on Tsunami Education, Outreach, and Exercise corresponding Tsunami Ready Indicators 6,7 and 8.  This online lecture, which conducted on 25 September 2020, featured Mr. Ardito M. Kodijat, Head of Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre- IOC UNESCO Indonesia, as the moderator and two guest lectures, Ms. Ghazala Naeem, Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation Expert, Pakistan, and Ms. Weniza, the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) Indonesia. This 4th online lecture aimed to improve knowledge and understanding of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready indicators related to public outreach, education, and regular exercise.

In the first session, Ms. Ghazala discussed the Community Tsunami and Education Outreach. She outlined the various factors to be considered in developing tsunami education and outreach material. Among others are having good tsunami evacuation maps, observing natural signs, and responding to official warnings, what to do before and immediately after a tsunami. Developing tsunami education and outreach should consider the local scenarios where it includes local geographical, environmental, and cultural features. Ms. Ghazala also pointed out various ways to reach the community, such as a brochure, public services, local faith organizations, local radio, historical sites, social media, and bulk emails. Furthermore, she underlined the importance of annual exercise to educate the community about tsunami and other hazards, evacuation routes, and how the information will be received.

The lecture proceeded with Ms. Weniza on tsunami exercise. She mentioned the Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise (IOWAVE) is an effective tool to evaluate the readiness of the operation of the Tsunami Service Providers and the Indian Ocean Member States’ National Tsunami Warning Centers, Disaster Management Organizations (DMOs), and community in responding to potentially destructive Oceanwide tsunamis. It also provided the opportunity for Indian Ocean countries to test their communication methods and review their SOPs, tsunami emergency response plans, and tsunami emergency preparedness. Furthermore, in this session, she outlined in detail the planning of the tsunami exercise. First, ensuring the tsunami exercise is part of national, local, and community strategy and policy to build preparedness. Second, exercise should be equipped with proper training. The next process is to analyse the goals with the three following scenarios based on the need and purpose of the exercise depending on the local context:

If the goal is only to initiate the development of SOPs or resource integration, then Orientation Drill may suffice;

If the goal is to raise awareness and introducing evacuation procedure, then drill exercise is needed;

If the goal is to validate the communication system, warning chain, or SOPs, table top or even full-scale training can be done.

At the end of the second session, Ms. Weniza stressed the importance of the exercise's quality control to ensure that the activity meets the objectives.

Around 368 participants in zoom and 47 participants in the Facebook live engaged in the discussion.  It estimated 29 countries where 16 of them from the Indian Ocean member states. This fourth lecture received positive feedbacks from the participants, where most participants were pleased with the lessons. The participants felt that the course gave them insight and raise their awareness about the importance of tsunami education and exercise for the community.

The 5th IOTIC Online Lecture Series on Tsunami Emergency Operation Plan and Tsunami Early Warning System | IOC- UNESCO Tsunami Ready Indicators 9, 10, 11, and 12

Coming soon

The 6th IOTIC Online Lecture Series on Piloting Tsunami Ready in Indian Ocean and Applying for Recognition | IOC- UNESCO Tsunami Ready

Register to Lecture Session 6 (9 October 2020): http://bit.ly/Tsunami-Ready-REG6

 

More information about the lecture series is accessible on the following social media accounts:

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