The Inauguration Ceremony of the new facilities of the Operations Room of the National Tsunami Warning System took place on November 24, and it was attended by the Minister of National Defense, Mr. José Antonio Gómez Urrutia and the Commander in Chief of the Navy, Admiral Enrique Larrañaga Martin.
The implementing of cutting-edge technology, added to the experience and specialization of the professionals have allowed placing the SNAM as one of the most important Warning Centers in the region, turning it even into a reference in other Latin American countries, which have witnessed the efficiency the Service has shown when facing the latest tsunamigenic events generated in the coast of Chile; results that not only have been acknowledged by the authorities and national organisms, but also by the entire international community.
Since 2010, the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOA) has developed a continuous improvement policy in all the processes, protocols and technology used for the obtaining, assessment and spreading of information, which has allowed developing a better system. In this process of continuous improvement, and after knowing and comparing the national experience with other tsunami warning systems from several countries, that the SHOA thought of taking a step forward and bring that experience into our country.
During the activity, attended by representatives of the High Naval Command, the Director of the SHOA, Rear-admiral Patricio Carrasco Hellwig, thanked them for being there and said: "we can’t stop future earthquakes in our country and the fact that they might generate a tsunami, but we are certain that these new facilities and equipment, and our highly qualified and trained staff, will be prepared to face a drill, or maybe a real event that we don’t know when or where it will happen, and it will allow us to be more prepared for future emergencies."
After the ceremony, the authorities took a tour of the facilities, in which they visited the new Operations Room of the SNAM, in which the layout and design allow professionals making the decisions to have an improved panoramic view of the occurrences that develop during an emergency, improving even more the quality of the information and reaction times.
This new layout of the work stations is divided into three levels according to the stages of receiving information, spreading, modelling and monitoring, which are duplicated on a screen that can be accessed by all those working at the Operations Room of the SNAM.
After the tour of the new facilities, Minister Gómez talked about the progress shown by the institution in this matter. "We are being part of a wonderful development, and as Defense Minister and on behalf of the President of Chile, I am proud of the way we have moved forward, as a consequence of the situations that are so severe and extremely difficult to address when it comes to emergencies. I want to congratulate the Commander in Chief of the Navy, and the SHOA and all the staff who works in this place, who is on duty 24 hours, 7 days a week to protect the lives of all Chileans."