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Now, get tsunami alert in 13 mins

A Tsunami early warning centre, capable of sounding an alert in 13 minutes, was inaugurated on Monday, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2007 02:08 IST
Ashok Das
Ashok Das
Hindustan Times

A Tsunami early warning centre, capable of sounding an alert in 13 minutes, was inaugurated on Monday.

"This is a technological achievement of enormous magnitude," said Kapil Sibal, the Science and Technology Minister, dedicating the facility to the nation.

The centre, commissioned after the December 2004 tsunami claimed thousands of lives, cost Rs 125 crore.

The system comprises a real-time network of seismic stations, bottom pressure recorders (BPR) and tide gauges to monitor earthquakes in the sea and tsunamis triggered by them. The centre receives the data from the seismic network of the lndian Meteorological Department and other international set-ups.

The system can detect earthquakes above 6-magnitude occurring in the Indian Ocean in less than 20 minutes and alert agencies within 13 minutes.

This is done with the help of the BPRs - the key sensors that confirm the triggering of a tsunami. Six BPRs have been installed, four in the Bay of Bengal and two in the Arabian Sea.

The system was successfully tested during the 8.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Indonesia on September 12.

It has been described as the "most modern" in the world by Peter Koltermann, the head of the tsunami co-ordination unit intergovernmental oceanographic commission, UNESCO.

The centre will generate and disseminate timely advisories to the control room of the Home Ministry, which will then issue an alert to the public.

To warn the ministry, a satellite-based virtual private network for disaster management support has been established.

This enables the centre to also issue alerts to the state emergency operations centres.

Messages will be sent by telephone, fax, SMS and e-mails to authorised officials. In case of confirmed warnings, the centre is being equipped to disseminate advisories directly to the administrators, media and the public through SMS, e-mail and fax.

First Published: Oct 16, 2007 01:59 IST