The 3rd Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre Online Lecture Series on Tsunami Information and Evacuation Plan: I (IOC- UNESCO Tsunami Indicators 3 and 5)

In the third lecture, The Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre (IOTIC) – UNESCO organized the IOTIC Lecture Online Series on Tsunami Hazard and Risk Reduction: the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready Indicators 3 and 5. This online lecture, which conducted on 18 September 2020, featured Mr. Ardito M. Kodijat, Head of Indian Ocean Tsunami Information Centre- IOC UNESCO Indonesia, as the moderator and two guest lectures, Mr. Nick Kuster, NSW State Emergency Service Australia, and Mr. Harald Spahn, Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation Expert, Germany. This 3rd online lecture aimed to improve knowledge and understanding of the IOC-UNESCO Tsunami Ready program . Furthermore, its objective is to foster the communities, Non-Governmental Organizations, Tsunami Warning Centers, Disaster Management Offices, and other related stakeholders to have a public display of tsunami information and produce easily understood tsunami evacuation map in collaboration with the local community.

In the first session, Mr. Nick Kuster discussed the tsunami information’s public display corresponding the indicator 3 of IOC -UNESCO Tsunami ready. He underlined the importance of the public display of tsunami information, which has a considerable role in protecting people, providing valuable information for related stakeholders’ decision making, and strengthening community resilience. In formulating tsunami information, it should convey a simple, clear, and non-ambiguous message to the public. Furthermore, the public tsunami information should raise awareness instead of instilling fear in the community. Mr. Nick pointed out that the public display of tsunami information could be in the form of billboards and signages. He affirmed the previous lecture on the importance of the community’s engagement and other stakeholders in developing the tsunami information, designing evacuation strategy and map,

The lecture proceeded with Mr. Harald Spahn discussing on the tsunami evacuation plan. He outlined the Evacuation Planning process consisting 5 processes. First, preparing the planning requires relevant data, resources, and related stakeholders, particularly the local community. The next process is the design of the evacuation strategy and map. It is essential to calculate and consider evacuation time, safe areas, assembly point, evacuation modes, shelter, routes, signages, self-evacuation timing, and other supports. Mr. Harald continued the process with the public assessment, local endorsement, and dissemination of the plan. The sixth process is evaluating the plan through tsunami simulation exercise as the means of observations and improvement. In the last second session, Mr. Harald reiterated the importance of the evacuation plan, which has a vital role in community preparedness. Therefore, it is crucial to engage the expert and more related stakeholder involved in developing the tsunami evacuation plan.

Around 363 participants in zoom and 45 participants in the Facebook live engaged in the discussion. It estimated 29 countries where 16 of them from the Indian Ocean member states. This third lecture received positive feedbacks from the participants, where most participants were pleased with the lessons. The participants felt that the course broadened their horizons about tsunami and enhanced participants’ capacity in various fields, particularly teachers, to disseminate the tsunami information.

The 4th IOTIC Online Lecture on the tsunami information and evacuation plan will be conducted on Friday, 25 September 2020, 2:00 PM-3.15 PM (GMT+ 7). This lecture will feature Ms. Ghazala Naeem, Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System Expert, Pakistan, and Ms. Weniza, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics.