Tsunami Warning System, ''promise fulfilled to nation'': Minister

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Hyderabad, Oct 15 (UNI) The United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre today fulfilled a promise made to the people when the killer tsunami struck the eastern coast in December 2004, with the inauguration of an early warning system, which can predict a tsunami in just 13 minutes.

After the inauguration here, Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal complimented the scientists for coming out with the most modern Tsunami warning system in the world without ''cost and time overruns'' and exhorted them to reduce the time taken for giving alerts to six or seven minutes.

He would not be ''satisfied till the last mile linkage is fully established'' by putting in place a system for giving short messaging services (SMS) in local languages and conversion of SMS into audio messages, he asserted.

The tsunami warning centre located in the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) here, would also house two more centres, one for pursuing advanced research in metcorology and another on oceanography, the Minister announced.

Mr Peter Koltermann, Head of the Tsunami Coordination Unit, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, observed that the INCOIS system was a most modern one as multi-hazard approach had been adopted unlike the conventional ones in the Pacific region. A lot of IT (Information Technology) had gone into the system, he noted.

IT major Tata Consultancy Services had developed the software for the system.

Six more Bottom Pressure Regulators would be deployed-- four in the Bay of Bengal, and two in the Arabian sea within five months in addition to the existing six BPRs, he informed.

Eds: Here, pick up suitably from earlier series).

UNI

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