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NEWS: Red Tape Prevented Tsunami Warnings

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posted on Jan, 16 2005 @ 02:04 PM
Soon after the Boxing Day earthquake scientists at the Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii knew there was going to be a wave, but they had no way of alerting the Indian Ocean nations it was going to effect. The World Meteorological Orginization (WMO) has in place a rapid communication system to alert people around the globe of impending disasters. These scientists couldn't use the rapid warning system because "protocols were not in place".
Dr Laura Kong, the director of the International Tsunami Information Centre which monitors the warning system in Hawaii, told the IoS: "The WMO's system has been set up but the protocols are not available for tsunami warnings except in the Pacific. So it was used on 26 December but only in the Pacific."

A senior official at Unesco, which runs the information centre and the warning system, explained that this meant that "we do not have an agreement for passing the information on" for tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

She added that they had got "approved communication channels" for giving out warnings about tropical cyclones in the area but that "these would necessarily be different in the case of a tsunami" and were not available.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This rapid communication system can be used in the Indian Ocean but not for tsunami's? That's incredibly stupid in my opinion. If you can get the word out about a typhoon, why not a tsunami?

The UN and Unesco apparently had repeatedly asked the Indian Ocean nations to develop a tsunami warning system but balked at the idea because of the expense and the fact that there hasn't been a tidal wave in that region in 100 years. I understand their hesitancy though, it would be quite a task to implement such a system in poor overpopulated nations. Hindsight's always 20/20.

If it weren't for red tape this disaster could have been much less deadly.

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