Morocco is among the countries preparing for a possible tsunami in the NEAM region (Northeast Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Adjacent Seas).
On November 6 and 7, the country will participate in an international exercise called NEAMWave 23, organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
The exercise aims to test and improve the participating countries’ warning, communication, and evacuation systems. Countries that pass the exercise receive the Tsunami Ready label, a certification showing adequate protection against tsunamis.
Two scenarios are simulated during the exercise: earthquakes in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea cause tsunamis. The Tsunami Service Providers (TSP), responsible for providing information about tsunamis in the NEAM region, will then send messages to national authorities, who will respond with appropriate measures.
In El Jadida, a coastal city in Morocco, practical simulations will also take place, with the participation of schools and emergency services. Workshops, tabletop exercises, and other functional exercises will also be held to increase awareness and preparedness.
Morocco has also installed a marégraph in the port of Jorf Lasfar, which is essential for measuring water levels and anticipating and mitigating the effects of tsunamis.
The Coastwave project collaborates with the Marine Geosciences and Soil Sciences Laboratory of Chaouaib Doukali University, the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research, and UNESCO.
Morocco is vulnerable to tsunamis due to its geographical location. A Spanish study has warned that seismic activity in the Alboran Sea could cause waves that could inundate areas of high population density in southern Spain and northern Morocco, especially Nador.
Morocco has experienced several tsunamis in the past, such as the one on November 1, 1755, after the Lisbon earthquake.