Broadcasting Media as Part of Tsunami Warning Chain

In order to strengthen the engagement of media broadcasters in the tsunami early warning processes in the Makran region, a webinar was held on 17th June 2021 as a contribution towards the UNESCAP-funded project “Strengthening tsunami early warning in the North West Indian Ocean through regional cooperation” (TTF-29). The event was organized by Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Center (IOTIC), Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS), and TTF-29 Project Team. In total 63 participants attended this event from Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), UNESCAP and UNESCO.

The webinar was opened by the Chair of the Working Group or North-western Indian Ocean Working Group, Dr. Mohammad Mokhtari followed by Ms Ingrid Dispert representing the UNESCAP as the donor of the project, and Ms. Nora Gale of the ICG/IOTWMS secretariat. The webinar was structured in three sessions. The first session was to set the stage of the discussion by introducing the tsunami hazard in the Makran Region, the setup of the tsunami early warning in the region, as well as the role of the broadcasting media in tsunami early warning chain.

In the second session media representatives shared their country experience among others from Doordashan News – India, News Editor Ministry of Information of Oman, Media and Marketing session of National Centre of Meteorology of United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Metro TV from Indonesia. The session also covers Indonesian example on the regulatory framework and implementation as well as the Experiences from the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Media Initiative on early warning and the Emergency Warning Broadcasting System (EWBS).

The last session discussed the challenges and issues to address. The discussion focused on two issues, the conditions still need to be improved so that the media can play their role in the warning process, and issues on would need to be considered when developing tsunami warning SOPs for Media. The representatives of the National Tsunami Warning Centre of Oman and Iran, the Disaster Management Organization of India and Pakistan, as well as the representative of the Media of UAE, Indonesia, and ABU provided their statement on this issues.

The engagement of the media in the tsunami early warning processes in the Makran region was strengthened through this discussion on the role of broadcasting media in the tsunami early warning chain and exchange practical experiences from the region and beyond. The development of standard operating procedures was recognized as a primary tool to organize the practical collaboration between National Tsunami Warning Centres, Disaster Management Organisations and the broadcasting media in the warning process. Such standard operating procedures s need to be developed between the institutions to assure the interconnectivity as well as internally in each participating institution.

This event is a precursor for regional workshops on standard operating procedure development for broadcasting media, which will also involve the national tsunami warning centres and disaster management organisations.

For additional information on the regional webinar on engagement of media in the tsunami warning chain, please refer to the event website here.

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