India to have quick tsunami warning system by September 2007

Thursday, 28 December 2006, 06:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: A tsunami warning system that can give an alert within 10 minutes of approaching disaster will be in place along India's coastline by September next year said Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal.
"While an alert from the system can be disseminated within 10 minutes, after being confirmed, the warning can be passed on within 20 minutes," Sibal told reporters on the second anniversary of the devastating tsunami that hit India's eastern coast in 2004, killing more than 10,000 people and rendered hundreds of thousands homeless.

"The national alert and warning system for tsunami and storms will enable faster assessment of magnitude of the disturbance and near exact places to be affected," said Sibal, also minister of earth sciences. He said an interim warning system has been in place since July 2005.

The 1.25 billion ($275 million) system will have 12 bottom pressure recorders (BPR) - 10 in the Bay of Bengal and two in the Arabian Sea. These recorders are key sensors to gauge whether a tsunami has been generated or not, and further confirmation is done by the Tide Gauges, located at coasts, Sibal explained.

One BPR has already been deployed in the deep ocean near Andaman Nicobar Islands and another is in the process. Six BPRs have been procured and integrated with indigenous surface buoy systems that receive information from these recorders.

While two will be deployed by the end of January 2007, two BPRs scheduled to be deployed in the Arabian would be completed in March 2007.

While the BPRs would help in alerting people and authorities, the system will have 50 Tide Gauges to validate the data provided by these recorders.

The Survey of India (SOI) and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has already deployed 17 Tide Gauges. Currently the data is being received at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad.

"As a part of strengthening seismic network for near real time monitoring of the potential Tsunamigenic earthquakes, 17 interconnected broadband seismic stations will be set up," said INCOIS director Shailesh Nayak.

They will enable "real time communication of data" to the Central Receiving Station (CRS) of the India Meteorological Department at New Delhi and to the parallel CRS at INCOIS, Hyderabad.

Tsunami is a series of ocean waves of extremely long wavelength around 100-250 km in the deep ocean, generated primarily by earthquake occurring below the ocean floor, and break ashore more like a long lasting flood waves. Underwater volcanic eruptions and landslides can also generate tsunami.

Source: IANS
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