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Killer Tsunami - copy of an open letter written to Govt

 
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for_prof_arc at hotmai...
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 5:51 am    Post subject: Killer Tsunami - copy of an open letter written to Govt Reply with quote

Dear Sir,

This is an open letter written in great anguish at the great loss of life, particularly to a majority of children and women in coastal South India. I feel the loss could have been minimised but for the incompetance of agencies which are under control of DST. May be I am wrong to make the accusations, because my judgement may be clouded by the enormity of the tragedy and I may becoming senile.

There is absolutely no excuse for IMD to declare this event is of Magnitude 8.0. IMD has goofed up repeatedly in the past on Magnitude estimation. To catalog a few - (i) the Koyna event was declared as M 7.5 when it was only M 6.3. (ii) During the Uttarkashi event, a great blunder was made initiallyabout epicentre - the helicopter with the Govt team went first to Nainital !! and its Magnitude and other parameters were decided by a DST Committee as other agencies like NGRI disagreed with IMD. Even now, estimates of IMD and NGRI differ for almost every event. After the Latur earthquake, DST spent enormous amount on estimation of event immediately [15 min was given as a target] after a major event. I am stating above based on personal knowledge.
This is the largest event after upgradation and how can a DST agency justify this gross error in estimation of Magnitude

Even for the gross under estimation of Magnitude as 8.0 [atleast it was estimated properly to have occurred under the sea of the coast of Sumatra Islands],  the Govt Agency cannot claim ignorance that M 8.0 could trigger Tsunamis. We hear from CNN reports that death could have been minimised with advanced warning. We all know that Central Govt has advanced cyclone warning centres particularly effective and working in the eastern coast and it has hotlines to all district administrartion in that region. Why was not that system used to issue warning.

The event [even before the killer sea wave reached Chennai] was declared as M 8.9 by UGS and reported by CNN. We have Govt agencies in Andaman Islands and the time difference between arrival of killer tides there and Chennai was 2h30m according to Star TV broadcast.

I am amused that your agencies now issue repeated warnings of fresh tidal waves of similar intensity. This is just making India look foolish in the eyes of the world. Is there any data to make such foolish predictions ? Did the agencies consult experts in USA or Japan regarding the intensity of Tsunamis due to aftershocks even 36 hours after the event when the aftershocks magnitude has been steadily declining.

I understand that GOI will invest a lot of amount for future predictions. It will be a pity and waste of public wealth if grandiose schemes are approved and there is no accountability attached to it .

I feel that an open debate is necessary before Govt invests public funds. I will publicise my views through various forums so that Govt has different viewpoints to consider before  hopefully making wise decisions.

With best wishes,
Sincerely

A R Chandrasekaran

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