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Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System. Credit: Phong.Tran / Shutterstock

Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System

The Trust Fund contributed to the establishment of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System, which entered into operation in October 2011 with Australia, India and Indonesia as the designated regional service providers. It is estimated that the system will contribute to the saving of 1,000 lives per year, on average, over the next 100 years. The Trust Fund’s support for the development of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System included adaptation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for tsunami warning and emergency response.

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia. Credit: RIMES

Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia

The Regional Integrated Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) was established as a result of Trust Fund-supported projects. RIMES, a collective resource for member countries, provides a range of cost-effective early warning and climate application services. These have led to improvements in early warning systems and capacities, especially in low capacity countries throughout the region.

Monsoon Forums / Climate Outlook Forums. Credit: RIMES

Monsoon Forums / Climate Outlook Forums

The Trust Fund has supported activities aimed at building capacities for climate preparedness in highly vulnerable countries. As a result, national climate outlook forums, or monsoon forums as they are popularly known due to their convening around the onset of the monsoon season, have supported dissemination of seasonal forecast information to understand potential impacts. The main users of risk information get together to identify lessons learned from previous monsoon seasons, take stock of available tools and services, share forecasts for the upcoming season and to develop required preparedness activities. In Bangladesh for example, the Trust Fund has supported the development of long-lead flood forecasting and monitoring of cyclone formation in the Bay of Bengal. Armed with information on cyclone tracks, wind speed, and expected rainfall quantities, millions of people have been taken out of harm’s way due to timely evacuation.

Synergized Standard Operating Procedures. Credit: Oleg Golovnev / Shutterstock

Synergized Standard Operating Procedures

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for tsunami early warning have been developed and improved in many countries following the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. Because of a lack of understanding of the characteristics, similarities, and differences among diverse coastal hazards, synergies between the SOPs for other coastal hazards such as storm surges, high tides, and floods were missing. To make early warning systems operational for the use in a multi-hazard context, the Trust Fund has supported the development integrated, effective SOPs to simultaneously address multiple hazards.

Near-field Tsunamis - Northwest Indian Ocean Credit: Oxfam GB

Near-field Tsunamis - Northwest Indian Ocean

Since 2009, the Trust Fund has been raising awareness on the tsunami risk posed by the Makran subduction zone to countries in the North Western Indian Ocean (NWIO). Here, effective early warning systems are vital for emergency preparedness. Due to the proximity of the Makran fault line to the coast, potential tsunami travel times can be less than 30 minutes. In order to be able to cope with near field tsunamis, the setup of the national early warning systems and the related processes must be oriented on these short timelines in a stringent way. The Trust Fund has enhanced the region’s tsunami resilience by strengthening tsunami warning and emergency response mechanisms.

Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Credit:ESCAP / David Astley

Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

In 2015, the Fund expanded its reach to include Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Southwestern Pacific. These states are exposed to a range of coastal hazards, that result in significant losses. Effective disaster and climate preparedness can help to prevent these economic losses as well as losses of lives. Through its projects the Trust Fund has helped strengthening weather and climate resilience by building capacity for impact forecasting and climate applications