Even with the latest available technology in the world, tsunamis cannot be completely predicted, said G Madhavan Nair, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Delivering a lecture on ‘Using Space Technology for Societal Needs’ at the recently concluded 92nd Indian Science Congress in Ahmedabad, he said: ”Ocean-based observation systems can be installed in the Indian Ocean to forewarn us about tsunamis, but no existing system in the world can claim of making 100 per cent prediction.” Dr Nair said at present advance tsunami warning system does not exist in India, which along with some other South-east and South Asian countries were hit by the killer harbour waves on December 26.
Referring to the tsunami in South India and the Andamans, Dr Nair said, ”At present what we can do is identify the extent of damage that the tsunami has caused and take corrective steps.” Director of National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) Ranganath Navalgund, in his lecture at the Science Congress admitted, on existing ”gaps in India’s observational capabilities”.
Showing satellite imageries of the extent of damage that occurred in coast areas of Tamil Nadu and Car Nicobar, Dr Navalgund said: ”Remote-sensing can play an important role in rescue and damage assessments in areas that have been ravaged by the tsunami.” He also warned about the receding glaciers in the Himalayas.
”The glaciers are receding by ten meters every year and if the trend continues, the rivers of North India will no longer remain perennial,” he added.