Report on the 9th session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Early Warning System in the North-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean


The 9th Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami Warning System in the North-Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean was held from September 11 to 13, 2012 in Southampton at the National Oceanographic Center. Following this meeting, three key elements are worth noting: France officially announced that its national tsunami warning centre is operational; quality criteria were defined to be used by the IOC to accredit tsunami warning centres, an international tsunami exercise to be held in November.

Photo des participants à la IXième réunion du groupe intergouvernemental de coordination sur l'alerte aux tsunamis en Atlantique Nord-Est et Méditerranée (Crédits UNESCO-COI, septembre 2012)


The national tsunami warning centre officially announced by France

France officially announced that the National Tsunami Warning Centre (CENALT) was operational and therefore able to disseminate warnings to the countries of the western Mediterranean in the event of an earthquake at sea likely to generate a tsunami. As such, the CENALT maintains a comprehensive website.


Definition of quality criteria

During the three-day session, negotiations focused primarily on the definition of quality criteria to be used by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission to accredit tsunami warning centres monitoring the Mediterranean and the North-Eastern Atlantic.

SHOM, a partner of CENALT, was present and participated in the development of these criteria, particularly concerning the acquisition, collection and processing of water height measurements.


International exercise

During the session, it was agreed that an international exercise NEAMWave2012 aimed at testing the functioning and responsiveness of the warning centres and civil protection agencies. This event will take place on 28 November 2012.


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