Our System is currently at the highest level when it comes to infrastructure, technology and professional capabilities, which makes us one of the most important Warning Systems in the Pacific Rim”. With these few words the Director of the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOA), Rear-admiral Mr. Patricio Carrasco, addressed the improvements that have been implemented in the National Tsunami Warning System (SNAM) since 2010.
After a press conference, which took place on February 25th in the premises of the SHOA, Rear-admiral Carrasco mentioned the current status of the SNAM, emphasizing on the performance carried out during the earthquake and tsunami of April 1st, 2014, in the North of Chile, evidence that the Service is more than capable of handling this sort of emergencies. “Everything worked out as it was supposed to… communications, protocols, instruments and the decisions made were according to the situation, and thanks to that we didn’t have to regret any human losses after the tsunami”, he mentioned.
The Director of the SHOA insisted in the importance of the education of the community regarding these topics, urging people to always be prepared for this sort of events. “The best warning is the earthquake itself, henceforth, if you are in a coastal area and there is an earthquake that doesn’t let you stand on your feet, you must evacuate to a safe zone immediately and must not wait for the authorities to give the proper warnings, or wait for the sirens”.
Later, and on the same topic of preventive evacuations, the Rear-admiral made public the Decision Support System (SSD), a developing project which consists of a modern support system for the analysis that assesses the threat of tsunami in the Chilean coasts. This system uses a database of likely scenarios which include arriving times, and estimated wave heights for the Chilean coast, with the purpose of quantifying the risk of tsunami and provide more accurate warnings to the proper authorities, that is to say, it will be possible to determine if an area has to be evacuated or not when facing an event.
Finally, the Director of the SHOA also mentioned the commitment and constant work made by the Service, not only in terms of emergencies, but also through other functions which actively contribute to the development of the country, through activities linked to tourism, commerce, fishing, scientific and marine research, renewable and non-conventional marine energies, maritime safety and the protection of the national sovereignty , among others, which is reflected in this video.