Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System

Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System

The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System is a tsunami warning system set up to provide warning to inhabitants of nations bordering the Indian Ocean of approaching tsunamis. It was agreed to in a United Nations conference held in January 2005 in Kobe, Japan as an initial step towards an International Early Warning Programme. [Suk, Sarah, [ Did disaster forum achieve anything?] ,, 23 January 2005]

The system became active in late June 2006 following the leadership of UNESCO. It consists of 25 seismographic stations relaying information to 26 national tsunami information centers, as well as three deep-ocean sensors [ [ Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System up and running] , UNESCOPRESS, 28 June 2006] . However, UNESCO warned that further coordination between governments and methods of relaying information from the centers to the civilians at risk are required to make the system effective. [ [ Asia tsunami warning system ready] , BBC News, 28 June 2006]

Its creation was prompted by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting tsunami, which left some 230,000 people dead or missing. Many analysts claimed that the disaster would have been mitigated if there had been an effective warning system in place, citing the well-established Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which operates in the Pacific Ocean.

People in some areas would have had more than adequate time to seek safety if they were aware of the impending catastrophe. The only way to effectively mitigate the impact of a tsunami is through an early warning system.Other methods such as tsunami walls only work for a percentage of waves, but a warning system is effective for all waves originating outside a minimum distance from the coastline.

In the immediate aftermath of the July 2006 Java earthquake, the Indonesian government received tsunami warnings from the Hawaii center and the Japan Meteorological Agency but failed to relay the alert to its citizens. At least 23,000 people did evacuate the coast after the quake, either fearing a tsunami or because their homes had been destroyed.

It has been suggested that in Muslim-dominated coastal areas, the loudspeakers fitted to mosques could be used to broadcast warnings. [ [ UN plans interim tsunami warning system that could be running almost at once] , UN News, 13 January 2005] .

Notes and references

External links

* [ UNESCO IndoTsunami Project Website]
* [ Space Applications for Disaster Monitoring]
* [ Envirtech Tsunami Warning System, based on real time seafloor observatories measuring seismic waves and sea levels]
* [ U.S. Contribution to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System]
* [ Integrated Tsunami Watcher Service]
* [ Jakarta Tsunami Informatin Centre]
* [, Sonardyne Tsunami Warning System]

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