The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The first Central American tsunami monitoring room was opened on this week at the National University (UNA) in Heredia. It belongs to the National Tsunami Monitoring System (Sinamot), a joint initiative with the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

It consists of specialized hardware that connects to networks which provide seismic-maritime information, international alerts, and a tsunami database.

“With this information we can regularly perform an evaluation and analysis to determine and a potential risk to our country. We pass this information to the National Emergency Commission (CNE), who decides whether an alert is generated,” said Silvia Chacón, oceanographer of Sinamot.

The room is fully functional at this time, but they hope to improve computer equipment in the coming months. They have invested nearly 2 million colones and a million more would be needed to finalize everything.

“This allows us to give confidence to the people that there is an entity in charge of the subject. In the past, when there have been tsunamis in Chile and Japan, people did not know what entity to turn to for information,” said Chacon.

Threats of tsunamis will be conducted in a more systematic way to produce alerts. Standard operating procedures were drafted and the room will have the active participation of four staff.

Walter Fonseca, chief operating officer of the CNE, said that this room will strengthen the joint work with the technical and scientific bodies.

“Our goals is to strengthen the response capacity of the country and operational decision making, shorten response times and information to the population in the event of a tsunami, for those both near or far from the coast,” said Fonseca.

In the next few weeks they will open a similar room but at UCR.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica