Australia hosts tsunami preparations workshop

By Adam Coleman

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is currently holding (January 19) an intensive two-week international Tsunami workshop in Melbourne to train Indian Ocean scientists for future tsunami events.

“This is about saving lives, not just in Australia, but throughout the Indian Ocean,” says Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt.
“By supporting our neighbours in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, we are helping to limit the damage from future tragedies."

Delegates from more than 14 Indian Ocean countries are taking part in the workshop, held by scientists from the BOM and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in America.

The primary aim is to train delegates in a special tsunami inundation modelling program. Part of the model includes a software program called  ‘ComMIT’ which enables the construction of tsunami scenarios.

“Scientists have mapped out areas of the Earth’s crust where tsunamis are frequently generated. Using the tsunami propagation model, scientists can produce models of all potential tsunamis generated along these areas, which are known as scenario databases,” Mr Hunt says.
“By having pre-prepared scenarios, in a real time event, forecasters are able to use the best case scenario that matches the event to predict such things as arrival time and wave heights.

According to Emergency Management Australia, all low lying coastal areas can be affected by tsunami, including Australia,  although the threat is low for most of this country’s coastline. A tsunami is recorded on average in Australia every two years but they are usually too small to be noticed by people. 

The last tsunami to be noticed in Australia was along the north-west coast in 1994, following an earthquake in East Java. Tthe biggest ever tsunami in Australia was recorded at Cape Leverque in Western Australia in 1977.  No one was injured by waves.


Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required