The possible epicentre of the killer Tsunami and the probable path that the waves would take had been precisely tracked on the Indian Natural Hazard Map seven years ago.
Director of the National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO) Dr G N Saha told newsmen that the map, made by NATMO in the late nineties, had shown the possible epicentre in Indonesia and Tsunami waves travelling to hit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as the southern Indian coast.
“Though this was no prediction of any sort, it just showed theoretically what would happen if an earthquake of high intensity in Indonesia triggered off a Tsunami,” he said.
In view of reports of massive changes in coastline topography, island area shift and territorial gain, the Survey of India along with the National Institite of Oceanography, Goa and the Naval Hydrography wing had already begun ground surveys to verify data pertaining to this, Saha said.
“There are unconfirmed reports of land area changes and after the team undertakes an overall survey of the island beginning January 10, we will be in a position to find out if we need to make new maps for the Andaman and Nicobar islands,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad and National Remote Sensing Institute, Hyderabad released pictures beamed by Ikonos and Resourcesat satellites suggesting that many isles had been marooned and settlements in many had been shattered. Saha said the Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Science and Technology had sought the Indian Ocean Atlas that tracked the adjoining countries, the sea surface temperature, wave pattern, wind direction, placement of islands and other coastal information.
Sources at the Geological Survey of India (GSI) said that changes in the land mass could not be suggested with any precision unless a GPS survey was undertaked over a long period of time.