Work begins on tsunami early warning system

17th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 November 2005, HAMBURG - A German research ship has begun the construction of a tsunami early-warning system in the Indian Ocean similar to the U.S.-backed system that monitors the Pacific Ocean.

17 November 2005

HAMBURG - A German research ship has begun the construction of a tsunami early-warning system in the Indian Ocean similar to the U.S.-backed system that monitors the Pacific Ocean.

Germany is paying the 45-million-euro (53-million-dollar) bill for the system of marine instruments that can detect monster waves caused by seabed earthquakes like that of last December 26.

Many of the 270,000 people killed last year might have been saved if they been warned in time to flee to high ground, but the Indian Ocean had no early-warning system at all.

The ship, the Sonne, cast off from the port of Jakarta, and was headed through the Sunda Strait to the waters off the northern Sumatra city of Banda Aceh where last year's tsunami began, German Science Ministry officials said.

The main items on the Sonne were huge yellow-painted steel buoys equipped to monitor the water and seabed and flash news of changes to authorities. The German system uses seismometers and global positioning system (GPS) satellites to detect tremors.

Code-named Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS), it has been refined to avoid false alarms from quakes that do not cause tsunamis.

German and Indonesian scientists are to take two weeks to install the buoys and sensors off Sumatra using 6,000 metres of mooring cable.

UNESCO's oceanographic commission is coordinating the project around the Indian Ocean. It is set to be complete by mid-2008.

DPA

Subject: German news

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