ISDR logo

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


What is tsunami?
In brief - Recent and historical tsunamis - Tsunami early warning system technique - Tsunami warning systems
- Key tsunami actors & organisations - Research projects - Further reading

Key tsunami actors & organisations
International coordination
Tsunami early warning systems require close collaboration among countries, in order to ensure the rapid exchange of data and warnings and to maintain the regional seismic and ocean observing system.

In the Pacific region, international cooperation is formalisd through the International Coordination Group of ITSU (ICG/ITSU), a body of national experts from 26 Pacific rim countries. The ICG/ITSU meets periodically and is supported by the UNESCO-IOC secretariat. It is an important regional forum for tsunami warning and mitigation issues. It makes shared decisions on such things as regional observation networks, data sharing, warning dissemination, and provides guidance on mitigation and research issues. Among other things, at its 19th Session in Wellington, New Zealand, 29 September - 2 October, it established a Working Group on the Southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean, to ascertain capabiliities and requirements for tsunami warning services in these sub-regions. A similar body to ICG/ITSU is planned to be established by countries of the Indian Ocean region to coordinate activities there. UNESCO-IOC provides extensive information at the IOC website and through its special Indian Ocean tsunami site

Role of weather services
In many countries, the responsibility for tsunami early warning lies with the national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHS). Weather services operate around the clock and have extensive data communications networks and analyses capabilities that can serve tsunami early warning. They are coordinated globally by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Risk management and development actors
Effective early warning systems require well-orchestrated policies and networks to link the warning service to national and local authorities, particularly risk managers, and to ensure early warning is an integral part of development policies and sector strategies, including infrastructure, education, health, environmental management, communications, and rural development.

This means that there are many key actors in the early warning system beyond the core technical groups, such as regional and city management, educational institutions, planning agencies, non-governmental organisations, international development agencies, private sectors associations, etc.

Further tsunami contacts
Direct link to PPEW web site: