Tsunami alert for the Philippines

Published:  28 April, 2015

Solar-powered alarm horns provide the final link for the Philippines’ tsunami warning system.

Areas on the west coast of the islands, which face the Manila trench located between the Philippines and Vietnam, are at particular risk of tsunamis and the project is being progressively rolled out from the densely populated coastal towns and cities to the rest of the region.

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System was set up by the UN following the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 14 countries, and swamped coastal communities with waves up to 30 metres high. The system became active in late June 2006 and consists of 25 seismographic stations relaying information to 26 national tsunami information centres.

The system includes detectors, a GSM data communication system, data visualisation, interpretation, local tsunami emergency decision tools and, the final public-facing element of the system, widely distributed local tsunami warning stations.

The solar powered local tsunami warning stations rely on output user-recordable alarm horns manufactured by E2S Warning Signals. The alarm horns have a 300m effective range for alerting the population to an impending emergency. Three units per station, spaced at 120° intervals, ensure all-round audibility, and the units generate warning alert tones followed by recorded messages to ensure that the warning is unambiguous.

In the event of an emergency, people living in the affected coastal areas are given sufficient time to flee their homes and follow designated evacuation paths leading to higher grounds. 

  • Operation Florian

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