GoOd NeWs

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tsunami Alert System

Tsunami alert system in Sabah, Sarawak ready

KOTA KINABALU: The government has completed implementation of the National Early Tsunami Warning System that also covers the coastal regions of Sabah and Sarawak, at a total cost of RM34 million.

STRATEGIC LOCATIONS: Map of Borneo showing locations where early tsunami warning equipment are installed off the coasts of Sarawak and Sabah.

The Borneo Post learned here yesterday that the implementation of the project by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, through the Malaysian Meteorological Department, started in 2005, months after the disastrous Indian Ocean earthquake.
The second phase of the project started in April 2008 in order to further enhance the monitoring and information systems related to natural disasters.

EARLY DETECTION: A tsunami buoy installed at Sipadan, off Semporna town on the east coast of Sabah.

That earthquake on Dec 26, 2004 triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000 people in 14 countries.
Those tsunamis were among the deadliest natural disasters recorded in history, with Indonesia being the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.
Malaysia lost 68 people, mostly fishermen, when the 2004 tsunami hit the north-western coastline.
A research conducted
by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and relevant bodies has shown that the tsunami high risk areas in Malaysia include coastal areas of Sabah, Sarawak, Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Perak and Selangor.
ear at a total cost of RM7 million,” Abdul Malik Tussin, Sabah director of the Meteorological Department, disclosed here in an interview at his office.
He said among equipment installed include broadband and short-period seismic sensors, coastal cameras, tidal gauge stations, tsunami buoys at sea and warning sirens at strategic locations.
In the case of Sabah and Sarawak, a total of six seismic broadband sensors have been installed, at Kuching, Sibu, Bakun, Tawau, Sapulut and Lawa Mandau.
At the same time, three seismic short-period sensors in Sabah and one in Sarawak were installed, have been fixed at Lahad Datu, Telupid, Kudat and Bintulu.
He explained that the broadband and the short-period seismic sensors are equipment for detection of earthquakes.
A total of eight tidal gauge stations have been installed in these two states on Borneo Island; three in Sarawak and five in Sabah, located at Mukah, Bintulu, Miri, Labuan, Sepangar, Kudat, Lahad Datu and Tawau.
Elsie Benedict Jaimin

These are instruments that detect changes in sea water levels at coastal areas and in support of them two tsunami buoys have also been installed off Sabah, one at Layang-Layang on the west coast and at Sipadan, off Semporna on the east coast.
The buoys are designed to monitor deep ocean water levels.
Besides, a total of nine beach cameras or CCTVs have been fixed, three in Sarawak at Mukah, Bintulu and Miri and six in Sabah, at Labuan, Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Sandakan, Semporna and Tawau.
The actual location of the tsunami-watch camera in the state capital is installed at Menara Tun Mustapha, the 32-storey building of Yayasan Sabah at Likas Bay.
Malik Tussin said another form of tsunami alert equipment put in place are a series of nine warning sirens for the two states — at Miri, Labuan, in Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Kunak, Tawau and Semporna.
Abdul Malik Tussin

The siren is fixed at the SAFMA wharf in the case of Kota Kinabalu, whilst those elsewhere are mostly located at mosques facing the sea.
He explained that all information and data from the system are received and monitored directly by the department’s head office at Petaling Jaya.
Should there be need for any early tsunami warnings, they would be issued by the National Disaster Management Agency in Kuala Lumpur through the department’s headquarters.
Malik said officials from his department, including his deputy Elsie Benedict Jaimin, has conducted several campaigns in various towns of Sabah in the last four years to promote public awareness of severe monsoon, weather, floods, earthquake and tsunami.
Among towns covered by the department are Semporna, Keningau, Tawau, Sandakan, Kudat, Ranau, Lahad Datu, to ensure that these local communities are aware of such natural disasters and to familiarise them with the functions of the early tsunami warning system.
The system, that provides early warnings on tsunamis generated in the Indian Ocean, South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is target-specific and has been developed to meet local conditions.
It forms part of the coordinated network of related tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean.

Sources of information from the borneo post