Signing of tsunami warning
arrangement with Indonesia
On 10 November 2008, Indonesia signed a Tsunami Warning Arrangement with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). The arrangement will help Indonesian authorities to issue tsunami warnings earlier than before. The Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (Ina TEWS) was inaugurated a day later, on 11 November 2008.
The Tsunami Warning Arrangement was signed by CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Tóth, and the President of the Meteorological and Geophysical Agency of Indonesia (BMG), Sri Woro B. Harijono. Tóth underlined that facilities making up the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty’s (CTBT) International Monitoring System (IMS) send “the speediest, most reliable and highest quality data” especially compared to information transmitted by other organizations, stating that “within 30 seconds, around 90 percent of the information reaches the tsunami warning centre in Jakarta.” Such bilateral arrangements have also been formalized with Japan, Australia and the Philippines.
As one of the nine States that still have to ratify the Treaty before it can enter into force, Indonesia is a country of particular importance for the CTBT. Indonesia, which has shown strong political and financial support for the Treaty, has recently declared that is undertaking “serious preparations for ratification of the CTBT" at the latest session of the United Nation General Assembly’s First Committee. The other remaining countries are China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.
A verification regime is being built to monitor compliance with the CTBT. 337 facilities world-wide will monitor the underground, the oceans and the atmosphere for any sign of a nuclear explosion. Today, over 230 facilities have been certified and incorporated into the network, and can send data to the International Data Centre at the CTBTO in Vienna.
In addition to verifying the nuclear test ban, the data from these stations have a variety of important civil and scientific applications which could contribute to sustainable development and human welfare. Apart from tsunami warning, these include research on ocean processes and marine life; climate change research; volcanic eruption monitoring for aviation safety, and many more.