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Supporting the Oceania Regional Seismic Network (ORSNET)

SPC has been working closely with the Oceania Regional Seismic Network (ORSNET), through the Pacific Resilience Project, to strengthen seismic monitoring and detection, as part of strengthening national and regional multi-hazard early warning systems. This support has been made available through various initiatives under a Letter of Agreement (LoA) between both agencies.

Workstations have been provided to ORSNET countries (Fiji, New Caldonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu) including new back-up servers to house ORSNET data. The workstations are equipped with the Seiscomp5 and Scanloc software and seismic technicians have been trained to use these systems. Five mobile seismic stations were also procured and ready to mobilise to ORSNET countries to cover any gaps in seismic data. At the request of the Fiji and Vanuatu Governments; a mobile station has been installed in Suva, at the Fiji Seismology Office, and two stations have been deployed to Vanuatu to be installed on Tanna Island.

According to the Fiji Acting Director for Mineral Development - Mr. Raymond Mohammed: "the seismic station will greatly contribute to our ongoing efforts in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people of Fiji in the face of seismic risks. We understand the importance in building resilience and disaster preparedness. We are keen to enhance the Department’s preparedness and maintain collaboration with respective ORSNET island countries."

ORSNET countries have also developed a Strategic Plan that will be shared at the upcoming ORSNET meeting scheduled for December 2023. This is a key document that will raise visibility and open the door for more support from development partners. The ORSNET portal is also operational and can be used for the exchange of data and information. The ORSNET server (including a back-up server) is now housed at the acting ORSNET Secretariat - the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Office in Port Vila.

A lot of technical support was provided through the PREP contracted consultant, Sylvain Todman up until August 2023. The PREP Project Manager - Mr. George Beck recognised the consultant's valuable contribution: "Sylvain's technical support to developing ORSNET was critical in raising its profile and strengthening the regional seismic network. We are also indebted to UNESCO's support, coordinated through Jiuta Korovulavula, and we hope countries can build on this to improve their national networks. It's also very important that ORSNET countries share their seismic data to improve early warning and ensure our people are better prepared."

The SPC's PREP project funded by the World Bank and implemented by SPC is focused on strengthening multi-hazard early warning systems to support resilient investments. Support to ORSNET is critical given the Pacific region is highly vulnerable to volcanic and seismic activity that trigger tsunami events. SPC has been in discussions with several partners who will continue investing in ORSNET.


For more information please contact:
George Beck, PREP Project Manager, Pacific Community (SPC) | (georgeb[at]spc[dot]int)