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Improving geohazards monitoring and resilience in the Pacific

GNS Science is the go-to specialist in geohazards monitoring in the Southwest Pacific. We take pride in our role of helping New Zealand be a good neighbour in the Pacific.

GNS Science assists Pacific nations to monitor and mitigate natural hazards. Photo: Carol Stewart

GNS Science assists Pacific nations to monitor and mitigate natural hazards. Photo: Carol Stewart

In Vanuatu we completed a long-term project to build a volcano monitoring network and improve geohazards monitoring capabilities.

When the project started in 2011, the islands had only limited resources for volcano monitoring. Building a long-term sustainable solution was a priority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded project. As well as a telemetered national seismic network with near real-time earthquake location capabilities, Vanuatu now has webcams and gas monitoring at key active volcanoes. It is widely regarded as a regional leader in hazards monitoring and provides assistance to other island nations. 

In the Solomon Islands we helped set up the country’s first geohazards monitoring network to provide real-time information on earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. 

Funded by the Solomon Islands Government with a World Bank grant, we installed new permanent seismic monitoring equipment in six of the nine provinces, and helped to set up a monitoring centre in the capital Honiara. The new network has enabled the Solomon Islands to both contribute to and receive seismic data from other countries in the Southwest Pacific, improving the vigilance of the region. 

As well as Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, we have also assisted Samoa, Tonga, Vietnam and Indonesia in building their capacity to monitor and mitigate geological hazards.