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Indian Ocean tsunami warning system tested

world Updated: Oct 13, 2011 07:31 IST

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Nations along the Indian Ocean are testing a UN-backed early tsunami warning system put in place after the massive 2004 wave off western Indonesia that left more than 230,000 people dead or missing.

Wednesday's exercise, the first full-scale test of the system, tested communication and emergency response. Evacuation drills were held in India and Malaysia, with bulletins sent by telephone, email, SMS and fax to more than 20 countries taking part.

The switch was flipped by officials at Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency at 8.05am the same time a magnitude-9.2 earthquake triggered a tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, that barreled into a dozen nations.

The agency said the test would last until 8pm and that no glitches were immediately detected.