It can be done…and it can be done so it’s (relatively) affordable…but it will require countries to make some critical adjustments:
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A tsunami warning system could be built in the Indian Ocean in just a year and cost as little as $20 million, a scientist said Tuesday.
But experts warn the high-tech network of sensors and buoys would be useless unless countries like Indonesia beef up communications links to the coastal communities that would be hit by giant waves.
Many coastal villages that bore the brunt of last month’s earthquake and tsunami lack modern communication networks. Many don’t even have telephones.
"There’s no point in spending all the money on a fancy monitoring and a fancy analysis system unless we can make certain that the infrastructure for the broadcast system is there," said Phil McFadden, chief scientist at Geoscience Australia, which has been tasked with designing an Indian Ocean system by the Australian government.
"That’s going to require a lot of work," he said. "If it’s a tsunami, you’ve got to get it down to the last Joe on the beach. This is the stuff that is really very hard."
An Indian Ocean tsunami warning system is expected to dominate Thursday’s gathering of leaders from stricken nations and world donors following the December 26 earthquake and tsunami that killed an estimated 150,000 people.