Volume 23 Issue 3, 2008

Emergency management of tsunami in New South Wales and the response to the Solomon Islands tsunami April 2nd 2007

Andrew Gissing, Rob Webb, Dave Hanslow

Peer-reviewed Article

Archived Article


New South Wales has a well developed tsunami emergency plan, which details the arrangements for the preparation for, response to and the initiation of recovery coordination arrangements following the impact of a tsunami. The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is the combat (lead) agency for the emergency management of tsunami in NSW and responsible for planning for and controlling tsunami response operations when they occur. The arrangements within the State Tsunami Emergency Sub Plan have been exercised, but the April 2nd 2007 Solomon Islands Tsunami provided the first real life test for the Plan. In close consultation with the NSW SES, the Bureau of Meteorology provided real time warnings to the community during this event. The liaison between the NSW SES and the Bureau on the day highlighted the benefits of detailed pre-event planning and scenario-based exercises. Both agencies were aware of the capabilities of the system and the messages to be provided. This paper will provide an insight into the emergency management of tsunami in NSW including the current activities being undertaken to prepare for tsunami and provide an overview of the NSW response to the 2nd of April Solomon Islands tsunami.