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Nuclear test ban data to help in tsunami warning

by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) June 25, 2008
The body that oversees the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty offered its unique know-how Wednesday to countries thar ring the Pacific Ocean to warn them of killer tsunamis.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said that, by providing fast and reliable seismic and hydroacoustic data, it could help Pacific Rim nations "issue timely and reliable tsunami alerts".

"Agreements for tsunami warning purposes will shortly be concluded between the preparatory commission for the CTBTO and several organizations in Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, the United States, Thailand and Malaysia," it said in a statement.

Data is already being provided to tsunami warning organisations in Australia, Japan, Malaysia and the United States, in the wake of the December 26, 2004 tsunami that killed nearly 220,000 people in southeast Asia.

Since that disaster, the international community has spent about 60 million dollars to set up a tsunami early warning system. Most of the funding went to Indonesia, which was hardest hit.

The preparatory commission of the CTBTO was established in 1996 to lay the groundwork for implementation of the nuclear test ban treaty once it enters into force.

Some 114 nations now are parties to the treaty, which however cannot take effect before it is embraced unanimously by a select group of 44 nations that includes China and the United States, which have so far failed to ratify it.

To enforce the treaty, a worldwide network of well over 300 monitoring stations -- above ground, below ground and beneath the sea -- is envisioned, providing data that could also help respond to tsunami threats.

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Indonesia launches tsunami alert buoys: US embassy
Jakarta (AFP) June 11, 2008
Indonesia launched two tsunami alert buoys with US help Wednesday to boost an early warning system for the country worst hit by the 2004 killer wave, the US embassy said.

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