31 Dec 2004

Geophysicist says Pacific has good tsunami warning network

11:36 am on 31 December 2004

A geophysicist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says the Pacific is well covered and provides a good model for other regions.

Barry Hirshorn was working on Sunday, when the earthquake caused the tsunamis that devastated coastal regions of South East Asia.

He says there were no communication networks for them to be able to quickly sound the alarm

Mr Hirshorn says the Pacific has sensors right around the Pacific basin that provide an early warning of earthquakes and tsunamis.

"If you look at our plot for example, from the US geos website, you'll see that we've got a list of the 11 largest earthquakes that have hit since monitors were created. And you'll see almost all of them... except for this one. This is the first one that hasn't been in the Pacific basin, so I think people have perceived the threat to be more serious to the Pacific basin. That's why there's a Pacific Tsunami Warning centre, and not one in the Indian Ocean."