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Tsunami alert system: DST calls for brainstorming in Jan

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Dec. 29

THE Department of Science and Technology (DST) has called for a national brainstorming session in early January to firm up plans for a warning system for tsunami in the country.The Director of National Geophysical Research Institute here, Dr V.P. Dimri, told newspersons on the sidelines of the 41st convention of the Indian Geophysical Union that all scientific establishments and Government departments concerned are expected to give their inputs.

Jolted by the devastation caused by the deadly tsunamis, the Government had announced that it would have a tsunami alert system and was even ready to import one, if necessary.

The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has decided to send a team of seismologists to the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to monitor the aftershock activities, Dr Dimri said.

The NGRI seismological observatories have recorded a total of 58 after shocks, after the December 26 earthquake near Sumatra, including the one measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale on Wednesday morning at 6.20 am in the Nicobar islands, he said.

Some of the other initiatives proposed by the institute include creating a Web site for updating earthquake data and linking the DST funded observatories in Cuddapah and Kothagudem in Andhra Pradesh and Dharwad in Karnataka to the main one at NGRI on a real-time basis, said Mr Dimri.

More than 200 geophysicists, who have gathered here for the three-day convention from India and abroad to discuss inter and intra-plate seismicity, decided to debate the current earthquake and give their suggestions, which could be conveyed to the national authorities concerned.

Earlier, inaugurating the meeting, the former Director, National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad, Prof B.L. Deekshatulu, said it was also important to bring synergy between the various scientific establishments and disaster management centres, with adequate strengthening of communication networks to tackle large natural disasters in future.

He said the satellite systems detected surface events and other parameters through images of large portions of the earth. A large network of buoys floating or anchored in the ocean is perhaps needed to monitor and provide real-time data on abnormal conditions, which could be used to put out warnings.

Prof. Larry Brown, of the Cornell University's Earth and Atmosphere Science Department, said the Pacific Ocean tsunami alert system has been built over a long period.

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