28 June 2006: A tsunami alert system for nations bordering the Indian Ocean is up and running, 18 months after deadly waves triggered by an earthquake slammed into 12 nations across the region. 26 information analysis centers capable of receiving and distributing tsunami advisories have been activated in Indian Ocean countries, Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of the UNESCO said. He said they are linked to 25 seismological stations and three deep-sea sensors.
The alert system, which was scheduled to be operational by July, has gradually come on line since April. Matsuura said the system would be further improved by the end of the year, when it will be capable of “improved and faster detection” of tsunamis and greater precision in locating the epicenter of earthquakes that cause the deadly waves.
Information bulletins are issued from Japan and Hawaii until a decision on the location of up to five regional centers in the Indian Ocean region, the UN said. Matsuura said there was also a need for improved national responsiveness to emergencies.