Expert Consultation on Scientific Tsunami Hazard Assessment of the Makran Subduction Zone

8 March 2019, Kish Island, Iran (Islamic Republic of)


The Makran Subduction Zone (MSZ) is still poorly understood even though it poses a major tsunami risk in the North West Indian Ocean. Several decades after the 1945 tsunami that caused hundreds of confirmed fatalities, there are still open questions about whether the Makran is able to generate such large tsunamis in the future. In the worst case of such an event, tsunami waves generated at the Makran source would reach adjoining shores within a few tens of minutes, posing enormous challenges for tsunami early warning systems. 

There is urgent need for scientific tsunami hazard assessment of the MSZ based on existing knowledge as well as relevant projects being implemented in the region by international scientific groups. This information will enable Member States to assess their tsunami risk, strengthen warning systems including inter-agency SOPs, warning chains, develop evacuation plans, build emergency response capacity and raise community awareness, preparedness and resilience.

The ICG/IOTWMS sub-regional Working Group for the North West Indian Ocean, established at the 10th Session of the ICG/IOTWMS with India, Iran, Oman, Pakistan and Yemen as Members, is engaged in pursuing these important activities. As a follow up to actions arising from its working group meetings, the ICG/IOTWMS Steering Group recommended organising an Expert Consultation on “Scientific Tsunami Hazard Assessment of the Makran Subduction Zone” on 08 March 2019 back-to-back with ICG-XII.