9 May 2013

Solomons welcomes Pacific tsunami warning system drill

1:46 pm on 9 May 2013

Disaster management officials in Solomon Islands are welcoming the opportunity to test new tsunami warning products tomorrow as part of a region-wide drill called PacWave 13.

The two-week exercise, which is run every couple of years, finishes on the 14th, will trial new products from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, including text message wave forecasts.

It is expected they will cut back the number of areas warned unnecessarily and help give advance notice of potential local tsunamis.

The chief operations officer at the National Disaster Management Office, George Baragamu, says the products are similar to some the country is already using but PacWave 13 is still a good opportunity.

"For us it means a lot because we have been hit by the Santa Cruz tsunami. It will help us to comare with our systems as well as look on how reliable the PTWC products are to help us to really do our work in terms of analysing tsunamis and giving out warnings."

George Baragamu says the drill will not involve the community.

Several devastating tsunamis have hit Solomon Islands over the past decade.