India will have a national tsunami early warning system by September 2007. The country's Science and Technology Minister, Kapil Sibal, made the announcement at a recent press conference. It is two years since the 2005 Boxing Day Tsunami killed more than 200,000 people around the northern rim of the Indian Ocean. The Indian National Remote Sensing Agency is well advanced in the creation of a small-scale topographic dataset of the littoral regions. Shallow water bathymetry projects have also been initiated.
The minister also noted other work, such as improvements to the existing seismic network and the deployment of 12 pressure sensors to record changes in sea level was also proceeding. A network of 50 tide gauges is also being established.
In addition, an end-to-end communication plan has been worked out in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation. It will ensure communication of real time data to the warning station, located at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services in Hyderabad. Data will come from the seismic stations, tide gauges and bottom pressure recorders.
A sophisticated computer system will hold the network together. It will have the ability to predict the likely consequences of an incoming wave at any point on the coastline, or in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
The minister said it would be possible to provide a credible warning to coastal communities in the sub-continent within 20 minutes of a seismic event.