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Tuesday, Dec 28, 2004

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Advance warning system soon: Sibal

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, DEC. 27. The Minister for Science and Technology, Kapil Sibal, said the Centre would soon initiate measures to put together a system that would provide advance warning for tsunamis.

The system will involve deployment of equipment that would constantly monitor the water pressure on the sea floor to detect any changes that could result in the formation of tsunamis. Called `sea floor pressure recorders', the machines would be linked to satellites and data would be constantly studied by experts at the India Meteorological Department here for taking preventive measures. The equipment would be deployed in the seas all around the country.

Mr. Sibal announced that the Centre would become a member of an international tsunami warning system, which is based in Honolulu, Miami. At present, 26 countries including the United States, Canada, Indonesia, and Australia are part of the network. Set up in the 1960s, the system keeps a watch on seismic and other activity in the Pacific Ocean that could trigger tsunamis.

Later, speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Union Cabinet, Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram declined to make any immediate commitment for the project.

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