Paper No. 39-7
Presentation Time: 5:10 PM
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION: A CENTRAL COMPONENT OF THE PUERTO RICO SEISMIC NETWORK TSUNAMI RESPONSE PROCESS
Real time earthquake and tsunami monitoring for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands is of the utmost importance due to their location in a complex and active plate boundary responsible for the generation of historical tsunamigenic events (e.g. 1867, 1918, and 1946) that caused extensive damage and loss of life in Northeastern Caribbean. Over the last few years, the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN) of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez has strived to establish a real-time tsunami monitoring system for our area of responsibility (AOR). A long standing collaboration with the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (WCATWC) has resulted on the incorporation of the WCATWC early warning system into PRSN operations and training of PRSN watch standers. As a result of our continuous international collaboration and data exchange, particularly with our neighboring Caribbean countries, PRSN currently operates 24 seismic stations in its AOR and receives real-time data from over 100 stations worldwide. Data from seventeen tide gauges (7 operated by PRSN, 10 by NOAA) in our AOR as well as data from dart buoys and tide gauges located through the Caribbean and Atlantic basins also conforms part of our monitoring system. A detailed tsunami response procedure was developed geared towards the specific needs of our local alert focal points. Redundant communications paths are being established to ensure dissemination of critical data and complete dissemination of earthquake and tsunami products. As part of our commitment to the scientific development and resilience of our Caribbean Region we have offered and participated on training to staff and government officials from other Caribbean countries, such as Haiti and Mexico, about real-time seismic and tsunami monitoring, use of open source software for earthquake locations and our response processes.