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"I suggested an early warning system be put in place for tidal waves, such as alarm sirens at beachside hotels in Phuket, Phangnga and Krabi, the three provinces which have now been hit. I alerted senior officials in these provinces, but no one paid any attention."- Dhamasaroj, former director general of the Thai Meteorological Department, told the Australian
"It is always on the agenda... Only two weeks ago it would have sounded crazy. But it sounds very reasonable now. The millions of dollars needed would have saved thousands and thousands of lives." - Vasily Titov, a tsunami researcher in the US
 
 
 

 

 

AsianTsunami: Mother of all Failures

8:00 AM Sumatran time 26/12/04

One of the most massive earthquake in the last century occurred, registering 9 on the Richter scale.
After 8 min. An alarm was triggered at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii by seismic signals transmitted from stations in Australia
After 11 min A message was sent to other observatories in the Pacific
After 14 min An alert notified all countries participating in the network about the quake, indicating that it posed no threat of a tsunami to the Pacific.
After 30 min Tsunami hit Aceh's west coast, then curled around the northern tip, flattening the provincial capital of Banda Aceh, and proceeded down the east coast
After 1 hour Tsunami battered the coastline of southern Thailand, along with the tourist resorts of Phuket and Phangnga.
After 2 hours Hit Sri Lanka's east coast and Tamil Nadu
Tsunami map
 
map: cnn.com
# countries affected: > 11
Dead: > 155,000
Missing: > 16,000
Homeless > 1,000,000

Tsunami waves travels at the speed of 800 kmh depending on the depth of the water.

"the airbase in Madras received communications from the Nicobar Islands an hour before the tsunami struck southern India" - Indian Express
" A hi-tech system covering not just the Indian Ocean, but all of the world's oceans, could be set up for as little as $150 million.Sea-level gauges cost as little as $5,000 each. The better ones, linked to high-speed communications, are more expensive-about $20,000." - Los Angeles Times
"The real tragedy of all these is that the systems is there, the technology is there, the capacity is there, it just wasn't in place in the Indian ocean when the thing hit." - Alan Clark, Pacific Disaster Centre.
Poombuhar
Poombuhar, India (30/12/03) imol pic.
Source: cnn.com, nytimes.com, The Star
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