Tsunami is one of the powerful and destructive natural disaster which is serious threat to life and property. Mostly it is caused by large earthquakes below or near the ocean. Tsunami waves would be less than 10 feet high and it can also exceed more than 100 feet in extreme.
Causes of Tsunami:
- Landslides on sea floor
- Volcanic eruptions
- Land slumping into the ocean
- Meteorite impact
In order to detect tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning System was established in 1949. This warning system is located near Hawaii and Alaska. It will detect earthquakes and abnormal changes in the sea level, and produces alerts to the coastal people to evacuate the respective areas.
The warning system has two important components
- a network of sensors to detect the abnormalities in sea.
- communication system to alert people.
There are two types of tsunami warning systems(TWS)
- International TW
- Regional TWS
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center(PTWC) was established in 1949 due to earthquake and tsunami in Aleutian Island in 1946. The PTWC is operated by United States NOAA in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. The NOAA National Tsunami Warning Center(NTWC) in Alaska alerts area includes British Columbia, California , Oregon, the Gulf of Mexico and other East Coast.
Regional warning system center alerts people within 15 minutes around the local area when it detects any possible threat of tsunami. All warning systems has multiple lines of communication such as cell, broadcast, SMS, e-mail, fax, radio, texts and telex.
Working of Tsunami Warning System
Tsunami’s are caused due to seismic activity on the sea floor therefore the warning system mainly monitors the seismic activities. The sensors are fixed in the sea floor that monitors seismic activities caused by earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
The surface buoy sensors send data to the tsunami warning center. These centers are staffed for 24*7 so they could analyse and determine whether the given alert will lead to tsunami or not.
The TWS has large number of sensors, transmitters and receivers through which it could collect seismatic changes in the sea floor and transmits to the surface buoy. The surface buoy receives the signal from Tsunameter (sea floor buoy) and transmits to Tsunami warning center (TWC). The TWC analyse the data and gives alerts to the local area which is going to get affected by Tsunami.
Tsunami Warning System in India
After the massive attack of tsunami in India which killed approximately 2,50,000 people, The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System agrees with the United Nation Conference in Kobe, Japan which was held on January 2005. After the agreement , India successfully installed 17 seismic VSAT stations with two central recording stations that provides SMS and e-mail alerts to the scientists automatically within two minutes.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System will provide alerts to the nations bordering the Indian ocean that approaches tsunami.
The average cost for installing the tsunami warning system might $142 million. Countries like USA, Japan, Australia, Chile and India have advanced Tsunami Warning systems.