France inks agreement with CTBTO to receive tsunami warnings

France has become the seventh country to sign an agreement with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) to receive tsunami warning data.

The data are collected by the organization’s global alarm system that monitors the planet for any evidence of nuclear explosions.

Since 2006 the Vienna-based organization has been making data available to tsunami warning centres from its network of seismic facilities that register movement in the Earth’s crust.

“This shows the trust we have in the work and the quality of the work done by the (CTBTO),”  Florence Mangin,  the French Permanent Representative to the organization, said at a signing ceremony with Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO yesterday.

The data will be used by the French tsunami warning centre in Paris, she said.

CTBTO data are readily available and provide tsunami warning centres with greater knowledge upon which forecasters are able to base warnings of tsunamis linked to seismic activity.

Currently the CTBTO is sending data to tsunami warning centres in Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and the USA (Alaska and Hawaii) while discussions are being held with additional countries, including Malaysia, Oman and Sri Lanka, Tóth said.

He said the CTBTO data on tsunami warnings, which have the ability to identify earthquakes that could produce tsunamis and provide faster warnings, “are of paramount significance, due to the speed, quality of data received and reliability.”

The International Monitoring System (IMS) will, when complete, consist of 337 facilities worldwide to monitor the planet for signs of nuclear explosions. Already 80 percent is in place. The network will include 170 seismic facilities, 11 hydroacoustic monitors to detect underwater explosions, 60 infrasound facilities to monitor sub-audible sound and atmospheric analysis to monitor radioactive gases and particles in 16 laboratories from 80 radionuclide monitoring stations.

HE Ms Florence Mangin, the French Permanent Representative to the organization and Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO signing the agreement.