Milestone for Australian Tsunami Warning System

15 December 2006

The Geoscience Australia Operations Hub of the Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (ATWC) was officially opened on Friday 1 December by Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, as part of the Australian Government’s response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The Geoscience Australia Operations Hub of ATWC will detect earthquakes in the region and determine whether they are likely to cause a tsunami by examining the magnitude, location, depth and other seismic characteristics.

The Operations Hub opening: 1/12/2006 (Image supplied by Rick Bailey - Bureau of Meteorology)

This data will be used in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology’s tide gauge data, and the two agencies will work together to determine whether a tsunami warning should be issued.

"In opening this Operations Hub, I hope it never has to function in the face of a catastrophe on the scale of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 26 December 2004. This Operations Hub is a step towards increasing Australia’s capability to respond effectively in the face of another natural disaster," Mr Macfarlane said.

The Australian Tsunami Warning Centre will run 24/7 operations, monitoring around 39 Australian seismic stations and around 70 overseas stations at any time. The Centre will then share its information with other countries in the region.

"Centres like this are being built around the world, and it’s important that we work together to reduce the number of casualties from any other tsunami that might occur in the future," said Minister Macfarlane.

The Australian Tsunami Warning Centre is part of the Australian Tsunami Warning System: a collaborative project involving Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology, Emergency Management Australia, and AusAID. The program is coordinated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013