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Indian Ocean Tsunami Alarm System Now in Operation

With Initial Tsunami Warning System in Place, Focus Now Moves to Emergency Preparedness of Local Communities.

(8/12/2006) International cooperation has now put into place a working tsunami warning system covering the countries covering the vast Indian Ocean area.

The rapid deployment of the system precipitated by the widespread loss of life in the December 26, 2004 earthquake and tsunami which killed more than 200,000 people has now focused attention on the preparedness of national and local governments to effectively raise the alarm and implement evacuation programs when and if a tsunami is detected.

Concerns in this regard were only heightened when Indonesian officials were accused of failing to warn local communities of the July 17, 2006 tsunami which struck Java's southern coast and killed more than 600 people.

At a recent three-day meeting that assessed the US$126 million Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System the United Nations' Joseph Chung warned "the system is only as good as the response."

Less than two years after the tragic "boxing day" tsunami of 2004, some 23 sophisticated monitoring systems are now operating in the Indian Ocean that can instantaneously measure and assess sub-ocean earthquakes and their potential for generating a deadly tsunami. These warnings are instantaneously relayed to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (Hawaii)and the Japanese Meteorological Agency who broadcast warnings to countries at risk and independently operated tsunami alarm system [See: Personal Tsunami Alarm System].

A Growing State of Emergency Preparedness in Bali

Over the past week coastal areas around Bali have performed coordinated safety drills involving the public, police, military and local community groups honing their skills on how they would respond to an actual tsunami disaster. In Bali this has included evacuation drills of beachside areas, the transportation of victims to local medical facilities, and public order precautions by the police and military.

Click image for Information of a Personal Tsunami Alarm System.