An advocate of communication and action in communities vulnerable to tsunamis, researcher Silvia Chacón is distinguished as one of the 100 most powerful women in Central America, according to Forbes magazine. For the second consecutive year, the hard work of the Costa Rican to investigate and prevent tsunamis in the region was recognized.
Since 2014, Chacón founded SINAMOT, a system that monitors tsunamis and, in collaboration with the CNE, has managed to develop maps and evacuation plans in the coastal areas of the Caribbean and Central America.
Through computer simulations and workshops with the communities, the researcher and her team determined the danger of tsunami in each area and develop strategies to deal with this type of phenomenon.
“This achievement is not just mine, it belongs to a team that has worked hard to position and give due importance to the issue of tsunamis in the country. This is a recognition that makes visible all the support we have received from UNA (National University) to develop this project and position ourselves as a benchmark on the subject,” said Chacón.
Potrero, Sámara, and Tamarindo are some of the 40 communities that collaborated with Chacón to strengthen its prevention and evacuation plan against the phenomena it investigates. Similarly, it is planned to continue this work in the South Pacific and the Caribbean in 35 areas such as Dominical, Coronado de Osa, and Limón Centro.
The support of the communities has been essential since, not satisfied with the evacuation map; they contributed inputs to generate an emergency plan in the event of this eventuality. The enthusiasm has been such that Ostional already has the UNESCO seal, “Tsunami Ready” and four other communities are close to obtaining it.
Among her greatest achievements, Chacón affirms that putting the issue of tsunamis on the table in a country that has almost no memory of these catastrophes has been one of them. “We have reached beach hotels, and emergency committees, where they do not consider tsunamis within their emergency plan. We have positioned the issue in such a way that all those who are on the coast keep it in mind “, concluded the researcher.