Indian tsunami warning system takes shape

Indian tsunami warning system takes shape

Hyderabad: India has developed its own tsunami warning system, barely three years after it was caught off guard when the killer sea waves spawned by a massive earthquake wreaked havoc along its southern coastline.

The National Early Warning System for Tsunami and Storm Surges in the Indian Ocean, a project of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has taken shape at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in Hyderabad.

Scientists last week installed two bottom pressure recorders (BPR), key sensors that indicate the generation of tsunami, off the Gujarat coast in the Arabian Sea.

A set of four BPRs have already been installed in the Bay of Bengal region and were put to test on 12 September when a massive undersea earthquake hit southern Sumatra.

“There are two tsunamigenic zones in our vicinity -- the Andaman-Sumatra trench in the Bay of Bengal and the Makran coast in the Arabian Sea," said INCOIS Director Shailesh Nayak explaining the need to install BPRs in the two regions.

INCOIS, in association with Tata Consultancy Services, has generated simulations of possible 550 scenarios of triggering of tsunami after massive earthquakes.

“The information about magnitude, location and depth at which an earthquake has occurred is fed into computers which picks up an appropriate scenario and simulate formation of tsunamis," he told PTI.

“We are able to issue tsunami alerts within 30 minutes of an earthquake," Nayak said.

The system is likely to be inaugurated by Earth Sciences Minister Kapil Sibal on 15 October.