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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 June, 2005, 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK
Indian Ocean tsunami alert deal
By Jacky Rowland
BBC News, Paris

Children playing by a boat overturned by the tsunami
The tsunami devastated many beach communities
The United Nations scientific and cultural organisation says agreement has been reached on a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean.

Oceanographers and delegates from the region agreed to develop a network of seismographic equipment and deep-sea sensors, at the end of talks in Paris.

The project will be modelled on a system operating in the Pacific Ocean.

The hope is the system may help to stop a repeat of December's disaster, in which more than 200,000 people died.

'Reason for optimism'

The shocking sight of mountainous waves racing towards the shore will stay in the minds of anyone who witnessed the tsunami. Six months on, people are slowly putting their lives back together.

The creation of an Indian Ocean tsunami warning system is another reason for optimism, from the other side of the world.

Warning equipment out at sea is linked to monitoring centres, which is connected to the emergency services.

The plan for the new system is that countries along the rim of the Indian Ocean will each set up individual warning centres that will be linked together in a network.

The people of the region know the power of a tsunami now. They know there is nothing man can do to stop it.

But with timely warnings, the human cost of the next giant wave can be reduced.


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