ICGNEAMTWSXIII Delegates to the 13th ICG/NEAMTWS working session held in Bucharest in 2016

The early warning and end-to-end tsunami risk mitigation system consists of the set of risk assessment and mitigation activities, of monitoring and detecting earthquakes which can generate tsunamis, of systems for alerting and disseminating early warning messages and of activities to improve risk awareness and responsiveness of exposed populations.

Regional tsunami alert systems operating within different ocean basins are the building blocks of the end-to-end tsunami alert and mitigation system, which is coordinated by the IOC-UNESCO as a globally operating "system of systems".

The framework of services within each regional tsunami alert system ideally consists of the National Tsunami Warning Centres: NTWC) and of the Tsunami Warning Focal Points: TWFPs) in each Member State, which receive information on tsunami forecasts from one or more service providers (Tsunami Service Providers or TSPs). For Italy, these three roles are carried out by the CAT-INGV, while the DPC covers the role of National Contact for Tsunamis (Tsunami National Contact: NTC). 

The TSPs work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to quickly detect major earthquakes using real-time seismic networks, to assess their potential to generate any tsunami and to monitor the propagation of tsunami waves using real-time sea level detection networks. Each TSP distributes products defined according to standards agreed between the National Tsunami Warning Centres (NTWCs) and the Alert Focal Points (TNFPs) which operate within the basin.

The responsibility of national organisations in charge of reporting to their citizens and communities is ultimately defined by the regulatory framework of the sovereign nation in which they reside and where they provide the service. These alert messages are based on the analysis of the situation carried out by each TSP, on the forecast information received from the other TSPs or on a combination of both.

Area of jurisdiction

The area of jurisdiction of tsunami service providers (TSPs) which operate within a regional tsunami alert system is established by their respective Coordination Groups (ICGs). The TOWS Working Group ensures worldwide coordination to guarantee coverage of vulnerable coastal regions of participating Member States, whilst at the same time ensuring a high level of service and interoperability.