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Killer Tsunami

 
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rni
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 6:32 am    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

Dear Prof.ARC and SEFIans,
I share the anguish expressed by you about the various ways quantitative
information is distorted by Govt. agencies vested with the responsibility
of S&T in Earth Sciences. Recently I heard and read statements by some
persons on behalf of the Govt. agencies that this was the FIRST TSUNAMi in
the historical memory of this country. Public memory may be short. But why
scientific agencies and their spokespersons also suffer from this amnesia.
Is it because they are just as public as others with no accountability?
facts speak for themselves:
On 28th November 1945 an earthquake of
magnitude 6.7 occurred in the Mekran coast.  The epicenter was under the
sea at 24.20N, 62.60E. The IMD Report (vol.X,no.125) by G.G. Pendse,
published in
1948, gives a brief account of the sea waves generated and the destruction
caused along the west coast of the country.  Pasni town, an important
trading center of those days, 100 Km away from the epicenter was washed
off by a wave of height 15 meters. Karachi, now in Pakistan was affected
by a wave 1-2 meters high. Bombay nearly 1000 Km away from the epicenter
was affected by an unusual tide. The report says there was some loss of
life. The wave reached the Bombay at 8.15 AM, nearly two hours after the
high tide for the day. Nevertheless, the height of the Tsunami was two
meters.  If the high tide and the tsunami had occurred together, the loss
would have been greater. The farthest port to be affected on the west
coast by the tsunami was Karwar, 1600 Km away.  I am giving this
information, so that the amnesia affecting nodal scientific agencies in
this country is recognized by the policy makers, before it is too late for
the next earthquake and tsunami. The Earthquake Risk Evaluation Center
recently started in IMD, should have at least provided factual information
on the past tsunamis that have most certainly affected our ports along the
east as well as the west coasts.

Yours faithfully

R. N. Iyengar
Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering
Indian Institute of Science
Bangalore 560012.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 4:28 pm    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

Dear SEFIans,

I think that the lesson to be learnt from this worst disaster is very simple.
"The technology ( whether it is remote sensing or seismic analysis ) which can't serve the common man is simply a waste to the society and the development (That we used boast abt) achieved by such a technology is actually "parasitic" in nature"

An other doubt that I'm having is whether our Seismic Researches is caring adequately abt  the residents in A&N (Especially when Andaman is said to be a highly seismic area.)

I hope that we ( the technical community ) will rise occasionally to serve the common man against the new(???) challenges of nature...

With Regards,
Ajay.

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rni
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:06 am    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

The south Asia analysis group has the following story:
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29: At 7.50 am on Black Sunday, more than one
full hour before the tidal waves hit the Tamil Nadu coast, the top
brass of the Indian Air Force knew that the Car Nicobar Air Base had
been inundated.

But it was only 41 minutes later—during which time the waves were
heading west—that the first communique went out from the Indian
Meteorological Department (IMD) to the Government. And the Crisis
Management Group, the Government's nodal emergency response unit,
met at 1 pm by when the tsunami had come, killed and gone.

And guess who got this first IMD communique? It was sent at 8.54 am
to the residence of Murli Manohar Joshi, former Science and
Technology Minister rather than his successor Kapil Sibal.

It's always easier to find faults with the benefit of hindsight—
especially in an unprecedented disaster like this one—but an
investigation of the sequence of events after the quake hit Sumatra
at 6.29 am shows a glaring disconnect between different agencies of
the Government. And highlights how precious time—that could have
been used to issue warnings and maybe save some lives—was lost.

Consider the sequence of events:

• ``At 7.30 am, we were informed by our Chennai unit that
coordinates the logistics for the Car Nicobar base about a massive
earthquake near Andamans and Nicobar,'' Air Chief S Krishnaswamy
told The Indian Express today.

``But communication links went down in the Island Territories, the
Chennai unit could only raise Car Nicobar base on the high frequency
set at 7.50 am ... the last message from Car Nicobar base was that
the island is sinking and there is water all over.''

• At 8.15 am, the Air Chief says, he asked his Assistant Chief of
Air Staff (Operations) to alert the Defence Ministry.

Now cut to the civilian establishment.

• Unaware of its fax goof-up, the IMD, as per routine, sent another
fax to the Disaster Control Room in the Ministry of Home Affairs
(MHA) at 9.14 am.

• Eight minutes later, Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi's private
secretary was also brought into the loop.

• At 10.30, the director of the Control Room T. Swami informed
Cabinet Secretariat officials.

• By then the tsunami had hit the Chennai coastline and another
earthquake measuring 7.3 struck 60 miles west of Indira Point at
9.53 am.

What happened between 6.29 am and 8.56 am in the IMD is also
telling: it shows how the country's premier met agency works in
isolation during an unprecedented emergency.

So even as IMD stations in Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata began
started receiving after-shock signals within minutes of the main
earthquake, and while the rest of the world had already issued the
exact epicentre of the earthquake—and the Pacific warning system had
sounded a tidal wave alert—the IMD was doing its own calculations to
find out the magnitude and epicentre of the earthquake.

Not helping the IMD was the fact that the Andaman station in Port
Blair runs on an old, analog system rather than a digital one. In
other words, in the event of a large earthquake and frequent after-
shocks, what it registered was a ``clipped seismograph'' —a blank
sheet of paper instead of zig-zag lines.

This is exactly what happened.

``For computing the exact epicentre, we need data from three
stations in three directions. With Andamans out of operations, it
took us longer than expected,'' explained the duty officer.

By then, the after-shocks had begun at Andamans. The first one was
at 7:19 am of magnitude 5.9 on the richter scale. It is not clear
whether that was enough to sound the warning bells.

``Tsunamis are never recorded in Indian history, so it did not occur
to us,'' said R S Dattatrayam, director seismology at IMD, who
arrived after 8.30 am to the station after being informed. ``I don't
recall the exact sequence of events.''

http://www.saag.org/BB/view.asp?msgID=10294

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:40 am    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

Dear Prof. RNI,
Thanks for the information.
Please also send the message to Govt.
Otherwise, please permit me to send it.
With best wishes
Sincerely
ARC
PS:
Dear Sefians,
Please raise hell on this incompetance of Govt agencies.
We owe it to the dead.
Sincerely
ARC
----- Original Message -----
Message From  <rni@civil.iisc.ernet.in>
To: <for_prof_arc@hotmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2004 9:36 AM
Subject: Killer Tsunami


Quote:
The south Asia analysis group has the following story:
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 29: At 7.50 am on Black Sunday, more than one
full hour before the tidal waves hit the Tamil Nadu coast, the top
brass of the Indian Air Force knew that the Car Nicobar Air Base had
been inundated.

But it was only 41 minutes later-during which time the waves were
heading west-that the first communique went out from the Indian
Meteorological Department (IMD) to the Government. And the Crisis
Management Group, the Government's nodal emergency response unit,
met at 1 pm by when the tsunami had come, killed and gone.

And guess who got this first IMD communique? It was sent at 8.54 am
to the residence of Murli Manohar Joshi, former Science and
Technology Minister rather than his successor Kapil Sibal.

It's always easier to find faults with the benefit of hindsight-
especially in an unprecedented disaster like this one-but an
investigation of the sequence of events after the quake hit Sumatra
at 6.29 am shows a glaring disconnect between different agencies of
the Government. And highlights how precious time-that could have
been used to issue warnings and maybe save some lives-was lost.

Consider the sequence of events:

. ``At 7.30 am, we were informed by our Chennai unit that
coordinates the logistics for the Car Nicobar base about a massive
earthquake near Andamans and Nicobar,'' Air Chief S Krishnaswamy
told The Indian Express today.

``But communication links went down in the Island Territories, the
Chennai unit could only raise Car Nicobar base on the high frequency
set at 7.50 am ... the last message from Car Nicobar base was that
the island is sinking and there is water all over.''

. At 8.15 am, the Air Chief says, he asked his Assistant Chief of
Air Staff (Operations) to alert the Defence Ministry.

Now cut to the civilian establishment.

. Unaware of its fax goof-up, the IMD, as per routine, sent another
fax to the Disaster Control Room in the Ministry of Home Affairs
(MHA) at 9.14 am.

. Eight minutes later, Cabinet Secretary B K Chaturvedi's private
secretary was also brought into the loop.

. At 10.30, the director of the Control Room T. Swami informed
Cabinet Secretariat officials.

. By then the tsunami had hit the Chennai coastline and another
earthquake measuring 7.3 struck 60 miles west of Indira Point at
9.53 am.

What happened between 6.29 am and 8.56 am in the IMD is also
telling: it shows how the country's premier met agency works in
isolation during an unprecedented emergency.

So even as IMD stations in Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata began
started receiving after-shock signals within minutes of the main
earthquake, and while the rest of the world had already issued the
exact epicentre of the earthquake-and the Pacific warning system had
sounded a tidal wave alert-the IMD was doing its own calculations to
find out the magnitude and epicentre of the earthquake.

Not helping the IMD was the fact that the Andaman station in Port
Blair runs on an old, analog system rather than a digital one. In
other words, in the event of a large earthquake and frequent after-
shocks, what it registered was a ``clipped seismograph'' -a blank
sheet of paper instead of zig-zag lines.

This is exactly what happened.

``For computing the exact epicentre, we need data from three
stations in three directions. With Andamans out of operations, it
took us longer than expected,'' explained the duty officer.

By then, the after-shocks had begun at Andamans. The first one was
at 7:19 am of magnitude 5.9 on the richter scale. It is not clear
whether that was enough to sound the warning bells.

``Tsunamis are never recorded in Indian history, so it did not occur
to us,'' said R S Dattatrayam, director seismology at IMD, who
arrived after 8.30 am to the station after being informed. ``I don't
recall the exact sequence of events.''

http://www.saag.org/BB/view.asp?msgID=10294


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Rudra Nevatia
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...


Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 207
Location: Mumbai

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:59 am    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

I would urge all to visit http://www.asc-india.org/

This site is maintained by Stacey Martin, a student
(!!!) based in Pune and gives continuous updates.

Even as I was looking at the site I noticed that a
fresh EQ is recorded in Car Nicobar and the Sumatra
quake intensity has been revised to M9.0

By the way asc stands for Amateur Seismic Centre. Some
Amateur!!!

Rudra Nevatia

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:08 pm    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

Thank you Sir for acknowledging this rare talent.(I consider Stacey a
Tendulkar of sorts!) Many experts use material from his site in their
presentations-but swear that they have never heard of him..
Below is a mail from Stacey which is self explanatory.
Best,
Hari



Dear all,

The earthquake and ensuing tsunamis are a tragedy we are dealing with at
present but we must all remember that we also require to learn many things
from this disaster. One of those is to learn how we can use this
earthquake's shaking effects to establish simulations that will help us
understand how the Indian landmass will shake in future earthquakes as well
as to better understand past earthquakes which occurred before modern
instruments were developed. I'd therefore request you to take a few moments
to view this following link and to report in if you felt the earthquake's
shaking or if you experienced odd oscillations in enclosed water bodies in
your surroundings. Some of you from the BBSR office have already responded
and it would be of great scientific value if more of you could send in your
responses from other parts of the country.

http://asc-india.org/FEQM/20041226.htm

Yours sincerely,
Stacey
--------------------------------------
Stacey S. Martin,
Earthquake Hazards Researcher
Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction
Govt. of India - UNDP DRM Programme
Pune 411 001, India
E-mail: stacey.martin@undp.org
E-mail: stacey.martin@asc-india.org

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dhirendrat
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Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:19 pm    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

The impact of the eartquake of 26 Dec. 2004  was felt even in Ahmedabad. Persons felt
the vibrations and ceiling fans were shaking.
There is still a heightened sensitivity in public at large to such phenomenon post the
earthquake of January 2001.

- Dhirendra Tripathi
Ahmedabad

hari.kumar@undp.org wrote:

[quote]Thank you Sir for acknowledging this rare talent.(I consider Stacey a
Tendulkar of sorts!) Many experts use material from his site in their
presentations-but swear that they have never heard of him..
Below is a mail from Stacey which is self explanatory.
Best,
Hari

Dear all,

The earthquake and ensuing tsunamis are a tragedy we are dealing with at
present but we must all remember that we also require to learn many things
from this disaster. One of those is to learn how we can use this
earthquake's shaking effects to establish simulations that will help us
understand how the Indian landmass will shake in future earthquakes as well
as to better understand past earthquakes which occurred before modern
instruments were developed. I'd therefore request you to take a few moments
to view this following link and to report in if you felt the earthquake's
shaking or if you experienced odd oscillations in enclosed water bodies in
your surroundings. Some of you from the BBSR office have already responded
and it would be of great scientific value if more of you could send in your
responses from other parts of the country.

http://asc-india.org/FEQM/20041226.htm

Yours sincerely,
Stacey
--------------------------------------
Stacey S. Martin,
Earthquake Hazards Researcher
Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction
Govt. of India - UNDP DRM Programme
Pune 411 001, India
E-mail: stacey.martin@undp.org
E-mail: stacey.martin@asc-india.org

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skjain.iitk
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:32 pm    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

I agree with Hari. I had a chance to go to this site a few months back,
and I must say, I was amazed at the quality of work he has done. Beautiful.

My only suggestion to him is with respect to name of the site. ASC also
stands for Asian Seismological Commission! When a student told me of the
site of ASC, I thought it belongs to Asian....until I went to the site
myself.

Sudhir K Jain

hari.kumar@undp.org wrote:

[quote]Thank you Sir for acknowledging this rare talent.(I consider Stacey a
Tendulkar of sorts!) Many experts use material from his site in their
presentations-but swear that they have never heard of him..
Below is a mail from Stacey which is self explanatory.
Best,
Hari



Dear all,

The earthquake and ensuing tsunamis are a tragedy we are dealing with at
present but we must all remember that we also require to learn many things
from this disaster. One of those is to learn how we can use this
earthquake's shaking effects to establish simulations that will help us
understand how the Indian landmass will shake in future earthquakes as well
as to better understand past earthquakes which occurred before modern
instruments were developed. I'd therefore request you to take a few moments
to view this following link and to report in if you felt the earthquake's
shaking or if you experienced odd oscillations in enclosed water bodies in
your surroundings. Some of you from the BBSR office have already responded
and it would be of great scientific value if more of you could send in your
responses from other parts of the country.

http://asc-india.org/FEQM/20041226.htm

Yours sincerely,
Stacey
--------------------------------------
Stacey S. Martin,
Earthquake Hazards Researcher
Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction
Govt. of India - UNDP DRM Programme
Pune 411 001, India
E-mail: stacey.martin@undp.org
E-mail: stacey.martin@asc-india.org

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sudhirbadami
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Posts: 26
Location: Mumbai

PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 9:09 am    Post subject: Killer Tsunami Reply with quote

While there is much information of damages and losses due to Tsunami, I
do not see refernce to damages due to earthquake. As Dhirendra Tripathi
says it, they felt the quake at Ahmedabad. Why only Ahmedabad, my sister
rang me up on 26th morning at about 6: 40 AM asking me if I had felt
quake vibrations. She is at 7the floor at Prabhadevi, Mumbai. I also
came to know that a friend on 5th floor at Shivaji Park, nearby to
Prabhadevi also felt vibrations. I, on the ground floor felt nothing as
I was perhaps busy making coffee and perhaps walking at the time from
Kitchen to Dinning room.

Now, if such quake was sufficient for my sister to call me to verify
from 'seismic expert brother', what were the people officially
monitoring earthquake doing all over India? Were the airfoece taken
napping  when the IAF base got whashed away? And the army? Surely it was
not the case of all instruments and communications setup getting
malfunctioning simultaneously? To avoid a panic did the government think
of going slow and keeping fingures crossed hoping nothing will be
happening! Could not the guys out there "err on the side of caution" the
first time?

It looks like like Stacy Martin, we at SEFI will have to setup a warning
system that would communicate with every SEFIan through email and sms of
any earthquake above 4 on the Richter, giving location and time. Whoever
is in the neighborhood could personally alert authorities to take
action..... Just a thought to take it further and quickly. In this team
of 'SEFIan' volunteers we could have some other people too so as to
cover the entire country.

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