Northwest Indian Ocean Regional Workshop on Tsunami Evacuation Maps, Plans, and Procedures
Tsunami inundation mapping and evacuation planning has been identified as one of the priority topics to be addressed in the five partner Member States in the NWIO region of the UNESCO-IOC Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) to improve tsunami preparedness at the community level. They are key steps towards making at-risk communities Tsunami Ready. In this respect, the current UNESCAP Tsunami Trust Fund Project Phase 2c supports its partners to strengthen their capacities for tsunami inundation mapping and evacuation planning. This is being achieved in a two-step approach.
The first step was Phase-2b of the project, which included a gap analysis of regional capabilities in inundation modelling and a gap analysis of national capabilities and the development of guidance on evacuation planning across the NWIO region. The project established a Regional Working Group on Tsunami Inundation Modelling and Mapping (RWG-TIMM) to help undertake a gap analysis on existing capabilities and coordinate efforts in the NWIO region and develop guidance on using the outcomes and outputs from Phase 1 and Phase 2a of the project, including an improved understanding of the risk and the development of a Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessment (PTHA). Phase 2b also undertook a gap analysis on the regional capabilities in for tsunami evacuation planning and provided information on existing global approaches, standards, methodologies, and best practices. To facilitate joint learning and national implementation, the project supported the establishment of National Working Groups on Tsunami Evacuation Planning and conducted participatory capacity and gap analysis in each of the five Member States participating in the project (India, Iran, and Pakistan with funding from the project; Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE) through self-funding). It then provided recommendations to the NWIO Member States about what fits best and how to proceed regarding the development of a set of individual national evacuation plans.
The second step now includes coordination and training in the development of inundation maps and training in the development of tsunami evacuation plans. This will help facilitate effective community responses to any tsunami threat, but especially from near-field tsunamis. With the successful implementation of these two steps, participating countries can work towards implementing the UNESCO-IOC Tsunami Ready Recognition Programme (TRRP), or similar national initiatives, to develop a solid foundation that will help achieve the goals of the UN Ocean Decade Tsunami Programme to make 100% of at-risk communities prepared and resilient to tsunamis by 2030.