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Held every year since 2011, CARIBE WAVE is a tsunami exercise organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions, an area where coastal communities are at major risk of tsunamis. Especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic, practicing response plans and pandemic-specific guidelines is crucial to ensure communities are ready to respond to tsunami emergencies should they arise.
Venkatraipur and Noliasahi in the Odisha State (India) are the first communities in the Indian Ocean region to obtain Tsunami Ready international recognition, the golden standard of tsunami preparedness awarded by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, UNESCO together with the UK National Oceanography Centre enabled Pakistan to repair the Karachi tide gauge, key instrument to monitoring sea level data for Pakistan and the region.
UNESCO and the European Commission just completed a major project to strengthen capacities to detect and respond to tsunamis and other coastal hazards in seven Caribbean countries.
Coordinated by IOC-UNESCO, the Global Tsunami Warning System plays a critical role in protecting lives. The IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Programme supports Member States in assessing tsunami risk, implementing Tsunami Early Warning Systems (EWS) and in educating communities at risk about preparedness measures. With the support of Tsunami Service Providers and Tsunami Information Centers, IOC-UNESCO helps Member States in assessing tsunami risk, implementing Tsunami EWS and in educating communities at risk about preparedness measures.
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.
Regional guidelines for tsunami warning services, evacuation and sheltering during the COVID-19 pandemic are now available to ensure the safety of vulnerable coastal communities from ocean hazards while minimizing the risk of viral contagion.
Through the IOWave20 simulation exercise, Indian Ocean countries get to test their tsunami warning systems and response protocols even while they contend with the impacts of the global COVID-19 crisis.
Over 40 countries around the Pacific Rim are participating in a mock tsunami scenario which included a live tsunami exercise on 5 November, World Tsunami Awareness Day. The purpose of this Pacific-wide exercise is to test communications from the IOC's Tsunami Service Providers (TSP) in the Pacific to every country’s official tsunami warning authority.
On 30 October 2020, a significant tsunami triggered by an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 Mw hit the island of Samos (Greece) and the Aegean coast of the Izmir region (Turkey). The event shed light – once again – on the complexity of warning of locally generated tsunamis of rapid onset which challenged the ability of local authorities and communities at risk to take early action.