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Early tsunami warning system being developed

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 21:39 IST

India is readying an early warning system for tsunami that would trigger warnings within 10 minutes of an earthquake hitting the seabed, Union Minister for Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal said on Tuesday.

The system, slated to be developed by September 2007, would be more accurate than the systems that are currently used in the world, Sibal said, adding that scientists attached to his ministry are working hard to develop it on time.

Sibal was talking to reporters on he second anniversary of the tsunami that killed more than estimated 2.5 lakh people in a dozen countries in south and Southeast Asia. More than 8000 people were killed in Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka and Thailand were the worst hit.

Sibal claimed that the systems currently used could issue up to 60 per cent false warnings. The system, developed by his Ministry, would issue a warning only after analysing the data from pressure recorders installed at the sea bottom. Once the system is ready, 10 such devices would be placed in the Bay of Bengal and two in the Arabian Sea regions.

The Minister informed that 17 automatic tide gauges have been installed in the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, allowing tidal activity to be monitored round-the-clock. As many as 33 more gauges would be placed along the Indian coastline at different places.

The Ministry, Sibal said, is roping in expertise from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Capital-based Indian Meteorological Department to strengthen the monitoring of seismic activity around the Indian coastline. Sibal added that ISRO would help in setting up satellite-based communication facility for receiving data from tide gauges and the bottom pressure recorders.

Five coastal observing radars and two current meter moorings, the minister said, would be installed towards monitoring storm surges and understanding physical behavior of oceans A high frequency radar has been successfully used to detect and measure the strength of advancing waves.

Mail to Sutirtho Patranobis: sutirthopatranobis @hindustantimes.com

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