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Early Warning for Tsunami and Earthquake

The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC), which is based at & operated by Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad has all necessary infrastructure and capabilities to give tsunami advisories to India as well as to Indian Ocean countries. ITEWC has been designated as one of the Regional Tsunami Service Providers for the entire Indian Ocean Region by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) on 12 October 2011. Since then, ITEWC is providing tsunami warnings and related services to all countries in the Indian Ocean Rim (24 Countries) beyond fully serving the India’s coastline / Islands. The centre is capable of detecting tsunami-genic earthquakes occurring in the Indian Ocean as well as in the Global Oceans within 10 minutes of their occurrence and disseminates the advisories to the concerned authorities within 20 minutes through email, fax, SMS, Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and website.

The ITEWC consists of national and international observational network of seismic stations, sea level gauge stations and tsunami buoys around the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Data from approximately 400 seismometers is being received in real-time and processed automatically to detect an earthquake of magnitude 4.0 and above anywhere on the globe. As soon as the earthquake is detected, warning centre transmits the first bulletin based on seismic data describing the location of earthquake, its magnitude, depth and other characters of the event. After issuing the first bulletin, seismic data are further analysed to improve the accuracy of earthquake parameters (magnitude, depth and location). The processing of seismic data is optimized to detect and characterize large earthquakes within earliest possible time.

A pilot project on Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system is under implementation for northern India (Uttarakhand) by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee which is funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). Such type of system gives a time lead for a few seconds to little more than a minutefor issue of warning on occurrence of an earthquake, so that some remedial actions regarding vacating building, shutting down critical operations etc may be taken up.Having said that, it is appropriate to mention that so far earthquake prediction is not developed anywhere in the world with precise degree of accuracy with respect to time, space and magnitude.

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 upto 23.3.2017 Budget Expenditure Budget Expenditure Budget Expenditure Budget Expenditure 30.14 14.35 15.29 13.97 15.29 21.53 15.29 11.96 Although there is no proposal to acquire other systems available in the global market, but equipments are being acquired for the refinement of Tsunami warning criteria and that is an ongoing process. The new research techniques such as Water level inversion, real-time inundation modeling, real-time estimation of focal mechanism of earthquake to show the style of faulting and incorporation of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data into the warning chain are the few key issues that ITEWC has taken up on priority. All these will enable more informed decisions on evacuation, as well as to eliminate the potentially dangerous false evacuations.

This information was given by Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences Shri Y.S.Chowdhary in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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