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International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Platform for the Promotion of Early Warning


Archive of selected News


Fact Finding Mission to Indonesia
During the fact-finding mission on early warning to Indonesia the PPEW Officer Yuichi Ono visited the Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysical Agency (BMG) and discussed with Dr Fauzi, Head of Earthquake Engineering and Tsunami Division, what happened during the 17 July tsunami to obtain first hand information. The BMG will explain more about the tsunami during the ICG meeting, which was held from 31 July to 2 August 2006.


New Tsunami Hits Southern Java Indonesia - July 17, 2006
On 17 July an earthquake of magnitude 7.7, with its epicenter around 355 km south of Jakarta, Java, Indonesia, triggered a tsunami which hit a 300 km stretch of coast along southern Java with a maximum wave height up to 3 meters. The arrival time of the tsunami is unclear at present. Ocean experts advise that, based on the typical speed of tsunami travel, the waves may have reached the closest parts of the Java coast in about 40 - 50 minutes after the earthquake.

It was the first real test of Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System which functioned well according to reports by UNESCO-IOC, the body coordinating the implementation of the Indian Ocean System. The first regional warning information was transmitted to the Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysical Agency (BMG) by the United States Pacific Tsunami Warning Center 19 minutes after the earthquake.

According to press reports and statements of authorities, it seems that the coastal communities of Java generally did not receive any official warnings before the arrival of the damaging waves, despite the official efforts in Jakarta to provide information via television, radio and mobile phones. Full details are not yet available and must await the investigations of Indonesian authorities.

A large part of Indonesia sits on a geologically unstable arc, marked by hundreds of seismic fault lines responsible for earthquakes close to the shore line, some triggering tsunamis. The so called local tsunamis, allow very little time between the actual earthquake and the arrival of tsunami waves.

As a result, local communities need to be ready to react even without receiving official warnings. In the case of an earthquake the population needs to be aware of the possibility of a tsunami, understand the natural warning signs such as water retreating from the shore, and know how to respond which in this case is escaping to higher ground.

For detailed information see the UN/ISDR Information note on the 17 July 2006 Java tsunami and the performance of early warning systems.


Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction
The workshop was held on 30 July 2006 to discuss and strengthen the role of, mitigation, preparedness and response in the ongoing tsunami early warning system implementation. It will compliment the ICG-IOTWS-3 meeting held from 31 July to 2 August 2006. The ICG meeting documents are available at:

Managing Tsunami Risk in the Aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsunami
Study undertaken by Risk Management Solutions, Inc.
From Commitments to Action: Advancements in Developing an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System
The brochure of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is detailing the progress made since the Indian Ocean Tsunami
UNESCO/IOC National Tsunami Assessment Missions
IOC was asked for assistance of 18 countries to assess requirements and capacity needs for effective national tsunami warning and mitigation system. Experts from IOC, WMO and ISDR were identified support the joint missions.
High Seismic Risk in Sumatra
According to new research findings the 28th March earthquake has significantly increased the risk of further large earthquakes close to the shore of Sumatra.

UNESCO 21st Century Talks: "Tsunamis: Forecasting and Prevention"

Tsunami relief effort must be done right, used as model for future, says special envoy Clinton at headquarters conference
Press Release IHA/1038, 25 April 2005
A resort with no beach? Sri Lankans flout tsunami buffer
Reuters by Simon Gardner 24 Apr 2005
Former United States President Clinton, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan call for renewed commitment to tsunami region
Press Release IHA/1034, 13 April 2005
Early warning system in the Indian Ocean
Salvano Briceño's view on the Second International Coordination meeting for the Development of a Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System in The Indian Ocean.
Meeting in Mauritius for a tsunami early warning sytem in the Indian Ocean
UN/ISDR Press Release, 12 April 2005

Sri Lankans Move Forward Despite Lingering Fears
By Rosemarie North, Special to, 11 April 2005

UNESCO appeals to Indian Ocean nations and donors to maintain momentum in building tsunami early warning system
The March 28 earthquake that struck Sumatra has reinforced the need for a comprehensive, durable tsunami early warning system that will provide the accurate real-time information required by national authorities to properly warn and protect their populations.
UNESCO Press Release, 30 March 2005

The tsunami’s impact on women
Oxfam briefing note, March 2005

Heightened awareness allows effective evacuations following Sumatra earthquake
UN/ISDR Press Release, 29 March 2005
High Risk of Tsunami in the Northern Caribbean
EOS, Volume 86, Number 12, 22 March 2005
Paris meeting commits to development of Indian Ocean tsunami early warning system
UN/ISDR Press Release, 11 March 2005
The Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO holds a special session on a possible contribution to a tsunami warning system, Vienna 07 March 2005
Meeting in Paris to plan tsunami early warning system
UN/ISDR Press Release, 1 March 2005
Tsunami: A technical seminar in Tokyo before Paris
UN/ISDR Press Release, 18 February 2005
United Nations to coordinate Early Warning System for Indian Ocean
UN/ISDR Press Release, 20 January 2005
Global Early Warning System Launched at Conference on Disaster Reduction
UN/ISDR Press Release, 19 January 2005
UNESCO plans global tsunami warning system for mid-2007
UNESCO Press Release, 13 January 2005
UNESCO to announce global strategy for establishment of a tsunami early warning system
UNESCO Press Release, 10 January 2005
UNESCO stands ready to extend tsunami watch system to Indian Ocean
UNESCO Press Release, 4 January 2005
10 preliminary lessons learned from the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004
School girl’s early warning saves many families
UN joins forces to implement early warning systems in tsunami-ravaged countries
UN/ISDR Press Release, 29 December 2004
UNESCO Director-General announces interim tsunami alert system for the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean countries unprepared for ten metre “walls of water” that wiped out coastal communities following Asia quake
UN/ISDR Press Release, 27 December 2004
BBC new in depth –Tsunami Disaster