Reducing Tsunami Risk in the Western Indian Ocean: a Regional Conference

When, local time: 
Sunday, 22 March 2015 - 9:00am to Monday, 23 March 2015 - 6:00pm
Where: 
Oman, Muscat
Type of Event: 
Category 8-Symposium
Contact: 
b.aliaga@unesco.org, f.fauzi@unesco.org

The Makran Subduction Zone, an active boundary between tectonic plates, poses the main tsunami hazard in the western Indian Ocean, but the nature of this hazard is still poorly understood. The zone is regarded, however, as capable of producing large waves that would reach adjoining shores in a few tens of minutes. Such fast-arriving waves add to the challenges of tsunami warning and tsunami education.

The conference will bring together modelers, geologists, and seismologists and related professionals who are studying tsunami sources in the western Indian Ocean, as well as construction and infrastructure planning specialists, and communication and social science experts. The gathering will facilitate scientific and technical collaboration on diverse monitoring systems and multi-disciplinary research. These expected outcomes are intended to yield better understanding of tsunami generation in the western Indian Ocean and greater efficacy of the region's early warning systems.

This conference will dovetail with a regular session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWS) that is scheduled to take place within the same period in Muscat.

It also coincides with the launch of the Oman National Multi Hazard Early Warning System (NMHEWS), for which IOC has been providing technical support since 2009. Beginning in 2010, the IOC and the Omani government have collaborated in developing, as part of NMHEWS, a Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS). The system includes monitoring, data processing, Standard Operating Procedures. In addition to Makran tsunamis, Oman is subject to far-field tsunamis from the Sunda Trench, tropical cyclones, and flash floods.