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Organization of SCSTAC



To fully address the tsunami risks in the South China Sea (SCS) and its adjoining basins, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), through its 41th Executive Committee meeting and ICG/PTWS Intersessional meetings, encourages the SCS neighboring nations to coordinate and collaborate closely for the establishment and sustained operation of the South China Sea Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (SCSTWS) within the framework of ICG/PTWS. ICG/PTWS at its 25th session (Vladivostok, September 2013) decided to establish a WG-SCS Task Team on the Establishment of a South China Sea Tsunami Advisory Centre (SCSTAC), and further accepted National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center of China’s offer to host the SCSTAC and recommended to initiate the establishment of the SCSTAC under the guidance of the WG-SCS [Rec. ICG/PTWS-XXV.3].  The ICG/PTWS at its 27th Session (Tahiti, April 2017) decided to commence the trial operation of SCSTAC in 2018. At the 28th session (Barcelo Montelimar, Nicaragua 2–5 April 2019), the ICG/PTWS through Recommendation ICG/PTWS-XXVIII.4 and further endorsement of the IOC Assembly at its 30th session (26th June–4th July 2019), decided to commence the full operation of SCSTAC on 5 November 2019.


As a sub-regional operational center within the framework of ICG/PTWS, the primary operational task of the SCSTAC is to locate and characterize tsunami sources and forecast coastal impacts in the SCS region. National Tsunami Warning Center of the State Oceanic Administration located in Beijing, China, is responsible for the operation of the SCSTAC. To meet the operational and organizational requirements that are necessary for establishing and sustaining a sub-regional center, NTWC/MNR made concentrated efforts and allocated regular amount of budget to support the augmentation of observational resources, duty staff, and operational facilities. To support the capacity strengthening on tsunami warning and mitigation in the SCS region, NMEFC also focus on the regional collaboration and training by hosting training workshops on Tsunami models/Risk Assessment and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). The interim tsunami services provided by the North West Pacific Tsunami Advisory Center(NWPTAC) to the South China Sea region were stopped following the commencement of full operation of SCSTAC.


The warning facilities include a 100 square meter on-duty room equipped with state-of-the-art high-performance servers, work stations, communication hardware, as well as Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for earthquake detection and tsunami warning purpose. Critical equipment and facilities have multiple backups in case of fatal failure.

There are currently three groups with a staff number of 14, including 

   (i) Earthquake Monitoring Group: 

   (ii) Tsunami Warning Group; 

   (iii) Tsunami Mitigation Group.