ANDHRA PRADESH

Tsunami Warning Centre to provide data to Asian countries

HYDERABAD: The hi-tech 24/7 Tsunami Warning Centre, located in the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) here, is all set to provide “timely and accurate” tsunami-related data to 22 Asian countries shortly.

A memorandum of understanding to provide the services was signed by the organisation recently with Bangkok-based Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre. “ We will start giving the data from June to the 22 countries,” INCOIS director, Shailesh Nayak, told The Hindu here on Thursday.

Besides, INCOIS was in the process of entering into bilateral agreements with Thailand, Mauritius and Maldives. Preliminary talks were also held with Malaysia, Iran and Myanmar. Agreeing that INCOIS was going global, he said the objective was to provide the entire spectrum of oceanographic services on Indian Ocean to various countries in the next three to four years instead of limiting to tsunami-related data.

Technology-aided

Aided by real-time information received through IBM’s state-of-the-art computational and communication infrastructure, the Tsunami Warning Centre has the capability to detect earthquakes of magnitude of six and above on the Richter scale occurring anywhere in the world.

However, in places having high density of seismic sensors, tremors with magnitude of two could also be detected. It receives data from nearly 300 seismic stations around the globe with as many as 27 located in India.

With the Centre currently generating data within a minimum of two minutes and maximum of 13 minutes following a tsunamigenic earthquake, Dr.Nayak said the aim was to reduce the time further.

Pointing to the accuracy of the data generated by the Centre, he said that following an earthquake ( 8.4 magnitude) near Java on September 12 last, it was predicted that the waves reaching Chennai would be of the height of 20 cms, while they reached 18 cms.

Using the DB2 software, INCOIS had created a suite of credible 5,000 worst case scenarios for the entire Indian Ocean predicting the likely height of the waves and the places that might be hit in the event of a tsunami.

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