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Tsunami - Instrumentatiom

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:28 am    Post subject: Tsunami - Instrumentatiom Reply with quote

From: A R Chandrasekaran, FNAE


SEFI is an open forum which is doing a great job in permitting issues to be
raised and debated. We should become effective to make the Govt aware of our
concerns. Meanwhile, we should write open letters - I wrote to The President
of India highlighting concerns on "issuing warnings". I intend sending all
letters in connection with this tragic event to Secy, DST and Director,
National Disaster Management Division, Ministry of Home Affairs.

We are not yet a fully functioning democracy - the bureaucracy is generally
not accountable. How I wish we have a system like the Congressional Hearing
Committees of USA wherein the officials are made to justify in public. It
was wonderful to hear at first hand, the engineering aspects of 9/11 tragedy
debated openly. Let us hope engineering decisions on this tragedy are
arrived at after a free and frank debate.

Is there a imperative and immediate hurry to install instruments ? This
event is definitely not going to repeat in the near future with this
intensity and whatever structures have survived will continue to survive. As
far as saving lives are concerned, it is not due to the lack of
instrumentation. We did record this mega earthquake event and the
authorities knew its epicenter was in the ocean. More importantly, some
authorities definitely knew when the damage hit Andoman Islands. We had more
than two hours to alert the eastern coast but failed because of lack of

Let us look at what is involved in instrumentation leading to warning. After
the Latur Earthquake, we are supposed to have a system to alert the decision
makers within 15 min. Massive funding including from world bank has taken
place. The public is entitled to know whether the system is functioning as
it is a system supposed to be working all the time with most modern
communication links. The Tsunami sensors  must not have leeway of more than
this window of 15 min and linked to decision making process. If it is
installed close to mainland coast, any signals from it processed and
disseminated after 15-30 min is useless as the event would have already
caused damages. We already know that no warning can be issued to near field
land based earthquake events. The Tsunami sensors will meet the same fate of
being useless. The only place where Tsunami sensors should be installed is
in the Andoman & Nicobar regions to have any meaning of warning. Let us be
very clear - warning cannot save property that lies close to shore. Lives on
the coast of mainland could be saved if we have sensors in far away islands
under our control or depend on warnings from sensors under the control of
other countries if International cooperation functions.

You would not have failed to notice the effect of belated warnings issued
after the main event based on likely after shocks. In Kerala, people were
evacuated and when returned they found their property looted. Imagine the
effect of impending warnings in future when no event occurs. People will
ignore it like the story of " Tiger is coming ".

I will address the problem of coastal properties in my next message.

Meanwhile, if you agree with me, join me in a campaign to stop hasty
implementation of instrumentation. The Govt should prepare a working paper
on all aspects including how the warning is supposed to reach the public
within the small time window for them to be evacuated and put it on a web
site and invite public comments.

You are free to publicize these views through any media if you are convinced
but ACT NOW.

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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:34 am    Post subject: Tsunami - Instrumentatiom Reply with quote

Panic gripped the coastal belt of Nagapattinam with the Met office
informing of yet another tsunami striking the district today.

Deccan Herald has reported that a fresh tsunami warning has been issued by
IMD for today. Please read


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