Plans For Asian Tsunami Warning System
Plans are underway by Indonesia to try to avoid the kinds of mass deaths that occured during last week’s South Asia tsunami by setting up an early warning system.
It won’t be easy — or cheap. But according to the Globe and Mail:
Indonesia said Monday that it plans to establish an early warning
system for disasters with its neighbours, as its death toll from last
week’s earthquake and tsunami jumped to almost 100,000.
Confirmed deaths from the disaster reached 139,253 after Indonesia
increased its death toll to 94,081, and Sri Lanka and Thailand both
raised their tolls by lesser amounts.
Aid agencies have said the death toll is expected to hit 150,000.
Sri Lanka, India and Thailand said they were almost ready to give up on
more than 15,000 still unaccounted for.
Indonesia, which suffered the most death and destruction in last
week’s disaster, will host a conference in Jakarta later this week of
countries hit and major aid donors that is likely to focus on how best
to deliver relief efforts.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Paul Martin announced a doubling of
Canada’s disaster relief commitment to $80-million as orders went out
to the military’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to head to
Participants of the Jakarta conference may also discuss ways to establish a regional tsunami warning system.
Officials say an untold number of deaths could have been prevented
if such a system â€” which exists in the Pacific Ocean â€” had been in
place Dec. 26, when a massive earthquake off Indonesia’s Sumatra island
sent huge waves surging into the coastlines of several countries on the
edge of the Indian Ocean.
â€œIndonesia and other neighbouring countries plan to set up an early
warning to prevent natural disasters, including earthquake and
tsunamis,â€? President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters Monday.
â€œThis would be a kind of pre-emptive measure.â€?
Mr. Yudhoyono did not specify which countries would be involved, how
the impoverished country planned to finance the system or how it would
Regional leaders were expected to endorse establishing a tsunami
early warning system at the conference starting Thursday, organized by
the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Experts say, however, that making such a system work will be an expensive and complex task.
Even so watch for it to happen: the region has been decimated by this earthquake/tsunami in terms of life and years of toiling to develop a thriving tourism industry. It is literally a matter of life and death and whatever it takes it’s likely to happen.