Following the agreement signed in July between the governments of Chile and Japan, on 04 October at Plaza Sotomayor in Valparaiso, the official launch of the Binational Drill took place. The Drill will be held on November 3, and the activity will commemorate, according to the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the World Tsunami Awareness Day.
The ceremony was attended by the Governor of the Province of Valparaiso Jorge Dip Calderon; the Ambassador of Japan in Chile, Mr. Naoto Mikay; the Director of the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy, Admiral Patricio Carrasco Hellwig and with them, other regional and institutional authorities. During the ceremony the Director of the National Office of Emergency and Public Safety (ONEMI), Mr. Ricardo Toro Tasara talked about the sustained work being done by the ONEMI to transform vulnerable communities into resilient communities, a task that has been undertaken with an educational approach and implemented with the support of the 15 Regional Offices throughout Chile. "Within these actions there is the Chile Preparado program, which to date has mobilized more than eight million people throughout the country and whose purpose is to promote the culture of prevention and self-care, creating awareness among citizens through actions of preparation and training", he said.
The Director of ONEMI emphasized that with this drill the most seismically active nations of the world unite their efforts and capabilities in an unprecedented event through an exercise that will mobilize the coastal area of the region of Valparaiso and one day later, it will replicate in the town of Hososhima, Miyazaki prefecture, Japan.
On his side, Ambassador Mikay said that despite the great distance separating the two countries, Chile and Japan are neighbors across the Pacific Ocean and seismic brothers at the same time, as they have shared the same problems and experiences in earthquakes and tsunamis. This brotherhood has been increasingly strengthened following the events of 2010 in Chile and 2011 in Japan. He also mentioned that with the Binational Drill, both countries are anticipating to the rest of the world, widely deepening the knowledge and interests about Tsunamis, raising awareness on the prevention of natural disasters.
As for the participation of SHOA, its Director unveiled the various actions to be carried out during the occasion, in which the entire event will be simulated from the information to be received from the National Seismologic Center. The idea, he explained, is to perform all procedures as if it were creating a real emergency, including, for example, sending newsletters with information related to the hours of arrival of the wave and monitoring Sea Level Stations, among other things. Also during the simulation all the capabilities that have been implemented are tested, especially in the field of communications, a fundamental aspect when making decisions in crisis situations.