Åknes/Tafjord

UMS reduces the risk of a catastrophe in the event of a natural disaster on the west coast of Norway. The Location Based Alerting System deployed by UMS in collaboration with Åknes/Tafjord Preparedness has resulted in more than adequate preparation for one of the major impending natural disasters in Europe.

The most popular tourist destination
Storfjorden is situated on the West coast of Norway and branches off into several smaller fjords including the Geirangerfjord and Tafjord. Geirangerfjord is a World Heritage site and is one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations surrounded by mountains reaching up to 1,800 metres above sea level. The region attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, increasing the complexity of disaster management and planning.

The tsunami threat
Storfjorden is one of the most spectacular natural sights in the world, but a large part of the adjacent mountain, estimated to around 80 million m3 threatens to slide into the fjord in the near future. This will result in a tsunami which will trigger waves up to 80 meters. The village of Hellesylt would be hit by the waves and Geiranger would suffer the same fate.

The solution
To create predictability, a geological monitoring system for the mountain adjacent to the fjord has been established. A monitoring centre observes and measures the geological movement of rock and sediment through sensors. UMS Location Based Alerting System has been set up to warn citizens, enterprises and visitors within the region in case of any unusual geological movements. The system is integrated with the sensors and all mobile phones in the area, including those belonging to tourists, will be immediately notified by SMS.

Conclusion
The UMS alerting solution can deliver alerts to all people in the vicinity of the threat before any incident occurs and ensures that local residents and tourists can continue to feel entirely safe while relishing the magnificent view provided by these natural surroundings. The ability to predict and warn is the best insurance against this future threat. This is also a great example of humans successfully co-existing with one of nature’s most marvelous and intimidating spectacles.

 

”We are not able to prevent rock slides, but we’re ensuring the safety of people by using real time tools to monitor the movement in the mountain. We have also established routines for evacuation of each village, and there are systems in place for warning the population well in time in case of emergency.”
Kjell Jogerud, Åknes/Tafjord Preparedness

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