The UNESCO-IOC framework – establishing an international early warning infrastructure in the Indian Ocean region
Abstract. The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake with a magnitude of 9.3, and the subsequent destructive tsunami which caused more than 225 000 fatalities in the region of the Indian Ocean, happened on 26 December 2004. Less than one month later, the United Nations (UN) World Conference on Disaster Reduction took place in Kobe, Japan to commemorate the 1995 Kobe earthquake. The importance of preparedness and awareness on regional, national and community levels with respect to natural disasters was discussed during this meeting, and resulted in the approval of the Hyogo Declaration on Disaster Reduction. Based on this declaration the UN mandated the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization), taking note of its over 40 years of successful coordination of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System (PTWC), to take on the international coordination of national early-warning efforts for the Indian Ocean and to guide the process of setting up a Regional Tsunami Early Warning System for the Indian Ocean.