A problem of plenty at Kobe meet

A problem of plenty at Kobe meet

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India plans a tsunami-warning system that its neighbours could join, while Indonesia envisions one run by south-east Asian countries. The Germans are pitching their own high-tech network, but the UN says it should set up the system, and then extend it globally.

The tsunami disaster demonstrated the need for an alert in the Indian ocean and other parts of the world, but the outpouring of support to build one has generated a plethora of overlapping proposals. Amid the confusion, UN officials at the World Conference on Disaster Reduction in Kobe, Japan, called for coordination —— and insisted on their own central role in marshalling the expertise and setting up the system.

Experts from around the world discussed the lessons learned from 40 years of operating the Pacific Ocean system and gave broad outlines of what a network in southern Asia could look like.

K. Radhakrishan, Director of India’s National Centre for Ocean Information Services, said his country has the technological capability to build a broad network that would stretch from Australia to eastern Africa by September 2007, for $ 30 million. ‘‘India has a road map,’’ he declared.