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Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre to turn regional provider

Special Correspondent


Format for alerts must be standardised, required software built

INCOIS building ground station to receive data from Oceansat-2


HYDERABAD: The round-the-clock Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre will, in 2012, become a regional provider, providing alerts to all Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries.

As a prelude, a five-day meeting of experts from 17 countries will be held next week at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) here, which houses the Tsunami Early Warning Centre.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, INCOIS director Satheesh C. Shenoi said the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission had suggested that the Indian Centre and those in Indonesia and Australia — countries which, too, had developed mature early warning systems for tsunamis — be regional providers for the IOR countries.

It wanted a system to be put in place so that there could be more than one provider.

Before it could become eligible to turn into a regional provider, the Centre had to build the required software and standardise the format for providing information. For instance, as the alerts were being issued to districts in India, the format needed to be standardised with regard to the local administrative units of other countries.

Hotline

Dr. Shenoi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Superintendent of Police, North & Middle Andaman, P. Karunakaran, for establishing a hotline between the INCOIS and the police control room at Port Blair. Although the INCOIS was providing messages and alerts to the Andaman & Nicobar administration, the hotline was meant to make doubly sure that the information reached them, Dr. Shenoi said.

He said INCOIS was also establishing a ground station to receive data from Oceansat-2. It would be operational in two months.

Earlier, addressing the INCOIS' first user-interaction workshop, P. Krishnaiah, Chief Executive, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), said fishermen were a neglected group in terms of being provided alternative livelihood and mooted the idea of giving them the first right to utilise marine wealth.

Director, National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), V. Jayaraman, said the models generated by the Indian Centre were probably better than those developed by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre and lauded INCOIS for providing services to user agencies.

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