CASE STUDY: Detection and Early Warning of Tsunamis in Ecuador

Published on Wednesday, 10 March of 2021

The Tsunami Early Warning System buoys installed at the coast of Manta and Esmeraldas in Ecuador, which are managed by the Navy’s Oceanographic and Antarctic Institute (INOCAR), have promptly and effectively registered the wave generated by the earthquake of magnitude 8.1 occurred last Friday, March 04, 2021 in the Pacific Ocean, close to Kermadec Islands, New Zealand at 19:28 hours UTC.

Alerts in less than 60 seconds

This disturbance originated more than 10 thousand kilometers away, traveled in the form of a wave throughout the Pacific Ocean and was detected on March 5 by the tsunami buoys model MSM EBM24-TS, located in Manta and Esmeraldas at 10:36:30 and 10:57:30 hours UTC, respectively. These buoys generated autonomously and automatically the corresponding alert in the National Tsunami Warning Center of Ecuador attached to INOCAR, in less than 60 seconds after its detection, thereby emphasizing the speed, robustness and reliability that the system has.

This fact additionally suggests some important conclusions, first it ratifies the correct maintenance policy that INOCAR has been developing for the buoys, where MSM has had a continuous and active participation by accompanying the INOCAR team in these tasks, and guaranteeing the total, continuous and optimal operational availability of the system.

Anti-vandalism design of our buoys

Likewise, we are very pleased to see the effectiveness achieved with the anti-vandalism design of our buoys by managing different solutions. This anti-vandal system has allowed the continuous operation of the buoys despite they have been the target of extreme vandalism actions (without success) for stealing and profiting from its parts.

We consider that it is necessary to create awareness within the seafarer’s community about the importance of protecting this equipment located on open seas from vandalism, since the mission of these devices is to generate tsunami alerts for saving the lives of thousands of people, where their relatives and friends may also be included.

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