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National Report Format submitted by Nicaragua to ITSU


1. ICG/ITSU National Contact:

Name:                                  Claudio Gutiérrez Huete
Organization:                       Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER)
Postal Address:                    Apdo. 2110 INETER. Managua, Nicaragua.
E-mail Address:          
Telephone Number:             (505) 248-0894
Fax Number:                        (505) 249-1890

2. Primary Warning Recipient

Name:                                   Wilfried Strauch
Responsible Organization:    Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER)
Postal Address:                     INETER, Managua, Nicaragua, Apdo 2110
E-mail Address:           
Emergency Tel. Number:      office (505) 249-1082 ext. 104 home (505) 233-1383
Emergency Fax Number:      (505) 249-1082

3. Tsunami Advisors

Name:                                    Sistema Nacional para la Prevención, Mitigación y Atención de Desastres (SINAPRED)
Postal Address:                     Secretaría del SINAPRED, Edificio de la Vicepresidencia, Managua
E-mail Address:            
Emergency Tel. Number:       (505) 228-6504
Emergency Fax Number:       (505) 228-2453

Name:                                     Defensa Civil de Nicaragua
Postal Address:                      Defensa Civil, Managua, Nicaragua, Apdo 2955
E-mail Address:            
Emergency Tel. Number:        (505) 277-3822
Emergency Fax Number:        (505) 228-2453

4. Local Tsunami Procedures

Organization that identifies and characterizes tsunamigenic events in the immediate source area:

Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER) by means of its national seismic network and its round-the-clock early warning system.

Threshold for declaring a potential local tsunami emergency:

Magnitud M >= 7.0; Location in the Pacific Ocean of Central America

Organization that acts on the information provided by the agency responsible for characterizing the potential local tsunami thread:

The National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters (SINAPRED) and the Defensa Civil of Nicaragua, emitting warning messages to the local authorities on the Pacific coast, using an emergency radio communication system .

Additionally, INETER contacts seismic networks and Emergency Commissions in the countries of Central America to inform on the tsunami threat.

How is the emergency situation terminated:

By a recommendation of INETER, transmitted to the population by SINAPRED and Civil Defense.

5. Distant Tsunami Procedures

What organization becomes aware of tsunamigenic events from a distant source:

Instituto Nicaragüense de Estudios Territoriales (INETER), by means of receipt of messages from PTWC via email, WMO/GTS.

Also, own data from the national seismic network and from the NEIC (National Earthquake Information Center) are used to detect large earthquakes in the Pacific Basin; institutions near the epicenter of the tsunamigenic event are contacted or Web pages are checked whether a tsunami has occurred.

What actions does this organization take with regard to tsunamigenic events from a distant source?

An alert message with recommendations on the actions to be taken is sent to the SINAPRED that informs to all institutions members of SINAPRED, the general public and the media.

Additionally, INETER contacts seismic networks and Emergency Commissions in Central America to inform on the tsunami threat.

What are the criteria for initiating tsunami mitigation procedures?

Criteria for taking mitigation measures are:

- PTWC issues a warning for Central America,
- INETER estimates that a tsunami threat could exists, based on its own seismic data, or other local, regional or remote sources

What actions are taken in response to warnings issued by PTWC during intersessional period?

If it is a case of a distant tsunami: Monitoring is intensified, independent information is checked; own seismic recordings are checked; other institutions are requested or their Web sites are monitored whether a tsunami has occurred; media are monitored.

A proposal for a decision about the emission of a tsunami warning is prepared by INETER and transmitted immediately to the SINAPRED and the Civil Defense.

6. National Sea Level Network

At the present time Nicaragua has two (2) sea gauges installed on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, maintained by INETER. One station is installed in Corinto. Data transmission via GOES satellite. There exist problems with the maintenance and fast data access to these stations.

7. Information on Tsunami occurrences

No local tsunami occurrences.


The Nicaraguan Seismic Network was expanded considerably in 2001-2003 considering the needs of the tsunami warning system. A broad band station was installed in the Seismic Data Center of INETER in Managua. TREMORS (problems of data format compatibility occurred) is tested and SEISAN software is used routinely with this station. A preliminary Tsunami Hazard assessment was carried out. The town of Corinto was identified as the site with the highest tsunami risk. The development of a Regional Tsunami Warning System for Central America has been promoted. A mayor upgrade of the Nicaraguan seismic network is planned for 2004-2005.


Seismic Network and data center

The Nicaraguan Seismic Network was expanded considerably in 2001-2003 considering the needs of the tsunami warning system. A broad band station (STS-2 seismometer, Quanterra Q330 datalogger, direct access to INETER LAN) was installed in the Seismic Data Center of INETER in Managua, to support the National and Regional Tsunami Warning System. TREMORS Software was installed and tested with the registration of this station. But, problems of data format compatibility could not yet been solved. Meanwhile SEISAN software is used for interactive determination of location and magnitude with the registrations of the station. An automatic procedure for location and magnitude determination, part of SEISAN, is under testing.

A digital radio communication link between the Seismic Data Center of INETER and headquarters of Civil Defense in Managua was installed. This link permits the automatic transmission of data, alert messages and direct access of Civil Defense to INETER web site, GIS and data bases.

Tsunami Hazard Assessment

A preliminary study on tsunami hazard at the Pacific and Atlantic coast has been carried out. The town of Corinto was found to be the site with the highest tsunami risk in Nicaragua based on the unfavorable local topographic conditions (very low elevation above sea level), the relatively large population and the long distances to secure places. In case of tsunami waves of more than 5 meters, many persons could be killed. In case of a local tsunami warning people would have to run more than 10 km to get to high ground.

Regional Cooperation

Contacts with the other Central American countries and CEPREDENAC (Center for Disaster Prevention in Central America, Intergovernmental organization) were established to promote the establishment of a Regional Tsunami Warning System.


A poster about the Nicaraguan Tsunami Warning System was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Seismological Society of America, in Puerto Rico (Strauch, W., 2003. The Nicaraguan Tsunami Warning System. SSA Annual Meeting, San Juan Puerto Rico, 30 April-01 May, 2003)

Future plans

The Nicaraguan Seismic Network will be further developed in 2003-2005. The installation of 12 broad band stations is planned for 2003. In 2004-05 the telemetered (analog data transmission) network will be completely reorganized installing three-component sensors, digital data acquisition on the site and digital data transmission to the data center. A regional seismic array will be installed. Additional short period and broad band stations will be installed in the Atlantic part of Nicaragua. The Regional Tsunami Warning System will be made fully functional. Detailed tsunami hazard studies are planned in 2004-05 for Corinto, Puerto Sandino, Masachapa and San Juan del Sur, towns located in the Pacific coast.

Date: 24/07/2003
Name: Claudio Gutiérrez Huete
National Contact of Nicaragua ICG/ITSU

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