The Jakarta Post reports that German aid and technology will soon assist Indonesia in the installation of a Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS). Utilizing seismic equipment located beneath the ocean's surface, the system is capable of measuring major tectonic events and automatically trigger e-mails and facsimiles to geophysical and security agencies across the region within minutes of any quake generating sufficient magnitude to create a tidal wave. Generally, only earthquake measuring 7.0 or more on the Richter scale precipitate tsunamis capable of causing significant property damage or human casualties.
In Jakarta on Monday, March 14, 2005, visiting German Federal Manager of Education and Research, Edelgard Bulmahn, and Indonesia's State Minister for Research and Technology, Kusmayanto Kadiman, made a joint declaration detailing the terms of cooperation for the realization of a TEWS in this region. Indonesia's State Minister for Research and Technology Kusmayanto Kadiman, along with Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, Edelgard Bulmahn, signed the bi-lateral agreement to install a TEWS system in the earthquake prone areas of the Indian Ocean.
Quoted in the Jakarta Post, Minister Bulmahn said, "the international community is convinced that there is a need for an early global warning system for the Indian Ocean."
The system to be installed with its first phase expected to be operational by October 2005, is linked to a satellite-based telecommunications network able to provide automatic real-time warnings on a multi-national regional basis.
The etire program, expected to take 3 years to complete, will commence with the deployment of ten sensors connected to ocean buoys.
The German government will provide assistance for TEWS development in Indonesia over the a three-year period. The first stage, will be to deploy an initial ten buoys operating with GPS (Global Positioning System). The final system will incorporate 25 seismographs, 10 GPS stations, 10 GPS tide gauges and 20 ocean bottom pressure sensors.
The entire system is expected to cost 45 million Euros or approximately US$59.93 million.
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