Spain signs tsunami warning agreement with CTBTO

Spain has signed a tsunami warning agreement with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), strengthening the country’s ability to issue faster and more precise safety warnings in case of a tsunami.

Under the accord, Spain has designated the National Geographic Institute (Instituto Geográfico Nacional) to coordinate and receive data directly in real time from CTBTO’s International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities.

The event was marked by a signing ceremony at CTBTO’s headquarters in Vienna on 13 June 2022, attended by Executive Secretary Robert Floyd and the Permanent Representative of Spain to the International Organizations in Vienna, Esther Monterrubio Villar.

“I remain committed to facilitating access and use of IMS data by all CTBT Member States to strengthen national risk management capabilities,” Floyd said in a tweet.

The CTBTO now has a total of 19 tsunami warning agreements with 18 countries (the others being Australia, Chile, France, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Portugal, Russian Federation, Thailand, Türkiye, and the United States of America).

Since March 2005, CTBTO has been providing near real-time and reliable data to tsunami warning centres around the globe.

The data come from around 160 IMS stations in high tsunami risk areas.

As well as their core purpose in monitoring for possible nuclear tests, IMS data can provide a wide range of important civil and scientific benefits. Other examples include tracking the movement of radioactivity in the event of a nuclear accident, and providing the basis for scientific research into topics from whale behaviour to climate change.

CTBTO Executive Secretary Robert Floyd and Permanent Representative of Spain to the International Organizations in Vienna, Esther Monterrubio Villar, sign tsunami warning agreement

Floyd, Ambassador Villar and IDC Director, Mindaoudou Souley Zeinabou at signature ceremony

Tsunami warning agreement signature ceremony, 13 June 2022, CTBTO, Vienna International Centre