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PostSOUTH ASIA: Tsunami and no early warning system (Ronald Hilton, USA, 12/08/04 11:46 am)
Regarding the Tsunami which hit South Asia, I said: There is an early warning system for the Pacific. and last year a similar system was proposed for the Indian Ocean. The riparian countries turned down the proposal on the grounds of cost. Penny wise, pound foolish. Randy Black comments: Penny wise and pound foolish is one way to look at it. One report said that the Pacific warning system went off and that those in charge in the Pacific made phone calls to their contacts in several Indian Ocean countries but those persons were unable to forward the warning due to no system in place to warn folks at the local level. Another news report stated that the principle reason that those nations did not participate in such a warning system was because, in all known history in that ocean, there has never been such an event. Some bright guy decided that since there had never been such an event, there would not be one in the future. Thailand is a member of the Pacific tsunami warning system, but all of its ocean buoys, upon which wave sensors are mounted, are on the east coast of the country.