Australia has launched its first off-shore seismometer in Niue as part of the Australian Tsunami Warning System.
Following the devastating tsunami in December 2004, the Australian Government launched a 4-year, 57 million US dollar project to improve tsunami detection and mitigation in Australia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Niue was the first country in the Pacific to reach agreement with Australia over the installation of warning equipment.
The island's location to the east of the Tonga Trench is geographically important for seismic monitoring in the Pacific, where until now there has been a gap in seismic data collection.
Its data will make a significant contribution to improving understanding of earthquakes and any resulting tsunami throughout the Pacific region.
Australia has already constructed seismic stations on Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, and hopes to install seismic and sea-level stations in 11 other Pacific island countries in the coming two years.