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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 October 2005, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
India approves $28m tsunami alert
A beach in Tamil Nadu, India, after the tsunami
India wants tsunami information within five minutes
India's government has approved a plan to set up a tsunami warning system at a cost of $28m.

The round-the-clock monitoring system will be set up in the southern city of Hyderabad and will be operational from September 2007.

The new centre will issue early warnings on tsunami and storm surges in the Indian Ocean.

Last year's tsunami, which struck on 26 December, killed more than 200,000 people across South Asia.

Several thousand of those were in India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands and in south-eastern mainland states.

Real-time data

The centre is to be part of a larger network of Indian Ocean tsunami warning centres and will monitor fault lines in the Arabian Sea and those around Indonesia.

"The benchmark is information dissemination in five minutes, like in Japan and Chile," said Indian Information Minister Jaipal Reddy after the cabinet meeting at which the plan was approved.

Currently, Indian Ocean countries rely on Japan's meteorological agency and the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii for tsunami alerts.

India is part of a 20-nation group that will have seven regional tsunami warning centres.

These centres will share real-time seismic data including estimated arrival times of initial waves and forecast of tsunami strength.

Indonesia, the nation worst affected by December's tsunami, will set up its warning system in its most earthquake prone region by the end of this year, its government officials have said.

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