Local News Fuerteventura
Establishment of signals to inform the population in case of tidal waves
March 2023

Establishment of signals to inform the population in case of tidal waves

The General Department for Civil Protection and Emergencies of the Ministry of the Interior has edited a technical guide with safety signposting to be used by the Public Administrations of Spain to inform the population of the safe evacuation routes in case of a tidal wave. The requirement to establish a common system of signposting is one of the first initiatives adopted for the implantation of the Tidal Wave State Plan, approved, in 2021. The Signposting Plan developed by the National System of Civil Protection follows the model contained in the UNE-EN ISO 7010:2020 regulation, the most widely used internationally, that aims for all citizens from any country to be able to identify easily evacuation routes and safe zones. This technical guide of information for the population,which has been approved by the National Council of Civil Protection, establishes a uniform signposting for the whole national territory. It will be implemented by the competent administration in each territory and will appear in the official language of each Community, and a version in English or any other language spoken by the majority of the resident population is recommended. Furthermore, the Signalisation Plan includes a series of criteria that should be taken into account by Public Administrations such as the most adequate location, optimal visibility and good accessibility.

The tidal wave risk in Spain

All of the Spanish coastsare exposed to tidal wave risks, but more particularly in the communities of Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Catalonia, the Community of Valencia, Galicia, the Balearic Islands, the Area of Murcia and Ceuta y Melilla. Those Autonomous Communities and Towns represent a total of 6846 kilometres of coasts, which is 86,49% of the 7905-kilometre total. Spain has had a Tidal Wave State Plan since 2021, and the development of that common signalisation system is one of the first initiatives adopted for its implantation. The planning for this risk is complemented by Plans approved by the Autonomous Communities and the Ayuntamientos.

Alert systems

The State Plan of Civil Protection against the Tidal Wave Risk, which is integrated within the General State Plan of Emergencies of Civil Protection (PLEGEM), creates a system of anticipation and early alert that warns the civil protection authorities and public emergency services, as well as the population, of the imminence of this type of emergency, so that the self-protection protocols can be applied, with special attention for the most vulnerable people. The National System of Tidal Wave Alert (SINAM) is a unique system which is able to detect in advance the creation of tidal waves that can affect the Spanish coasts and transmit, as fast as possible, the information to the competent organs in the Civil Protection of the affected areas. The SINAM gathers information that is put together by the National Seismic Network, the REDMAR Tide gauge network of the State harbours, the detection systems of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, as well as the other systems of marine detection of various public administrations and other international centres. Furthermore, at present, the alert system can be used with mobile devices, ES-Alert, through which the State and Autonomous Community Emergency Centres can send alert messages, in case of serious situations, direct to the mobile telephones that are located in the areas previously identified.