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On Sunday 26 December 2004 at 8:14 p.m. EST, within minutes following an alarm signaling a strong earthquake in the Indian Ocean, NOAAs Tsunami Warning Centers in Hawaii and Alaska issued information bulletins to all ICG/ITSU member states and other Pacific nations indicating that a magnitude 8.0 earthquake (later upgraded to M9.0 by the U. S. Geological Survey) had occurred off the west coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. According to the agreed-upon procedures for the International Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific, this event did not pose a threat to the Pacific. The PTWC (Pacific Tsunami Warning Center), however, continued to monitor the event.
Within a few hours, Vasily Titov, associate director of the Tsunami Inundation Mapping Efforts (TIME) at NOAAs Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Wash. and his counterpart in Japan, Kenji Satake, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, produced preliminary estimates of the main features of the event. Tsunami travel time maps were quickly prepared using software developed by Dr. Viacheslav Gusiakov, Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics, Novosibirsk, RUSSIA). (see all model outputs and maps on ioc.unesco.org...). Information was posted on the ITSU web site (ioc.unesco.org... ) as from Monday 27 December 2004.
85 percent of all tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean, generated in the regions where the main tectonic plates forming the floor of the Pacific collide against themselves or against the continental plates that surround the ocean basin, in an area known as the Ring of Fire. The Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas also have histories of some locally destructive tsunamis. Tsunamis in the Indian Ocean have been rare and far part in time. This might explain why no tsunami warning system has been developed in the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Ocean tsunami is now reported to be one of the strongest in the world for the past 40 years. More than 100,000 lives have been lost and material damage is tremendous.
IOC based on its mandate and experience with ICG/ITSU, will lead an effort to expand the currently existing system in the Pacific to the World Ocean to ensure that appropriate warning systems are available in all regions of the world that are prone to Tsunamis. This decision is fully consistent with the current initiative to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems. For that purpose immediate consultations will be undertaken with the Officers of ICG/ITSU and representatives of concerned countries. Furthermore, representatives from all Member States of the Commission will be invited to participate in a Special Session during the coming XXIIIrd Assembly of the IOC in July of 2005 to set up and adopt the Policy and Technical bases of such a system at the shortest possible delay.
Dr Patricio Bernal
Executive Secretary IOC
Almost 100,000 individual donations...
Reaching OVER $6.25-Million (US)...
in just 24 hours!!!
IT seems almost impossible.
Just days after the tidal wave disaster, one of the devastated beaches was returning to normal yesterday.
On Sunday, Patong Beach was hit by a wall of water that swept into Phuket, claiming at least 120 lives.
Parasols, chairs, and other beach paraphernalia were swept to the top of the tree-lined beach, dragging helpless holidaymakers with them. It was at this beach that six-month-old Melina Heppell, of Perth, disappeared from her father's arms when the huge wave struck.
For some tourists yesterday, however, the tragedy was becoming a memory, albeit a vivid one, as they made the most of the weather and topped up their tans.
Originally posted by Valhall
For some reason, the thought of the loss of these ancient people hurts me more than anything else I have heard surrounding this.
I don't why...but it really does. It's like a species going extinct. It's a treasure lost forever - and lost before we really knew the value.
[edit on 12-28-2004 by Valhall]
The extreme tidal movements of 26 December caused substantial damage to the coasts of the inner granite islands of the Seychelles archipelago. Severe flooding caused damage to road infrastructure, fishing infrastructure, public utilities, the agricultural sector, schools, housing, reclaimed land and tourism establishments.
Linked to that, on 29 December torrential rains lashed the northern part of the main island of Mahe, devastating homes and roads.
The President of the Republic has appealed for international assistance to complement national efforts in addressing and coping with the calamity. The Government invited the OCHA mission that is in the region to come to the Seychelles as early as possible to evaluate the situation.