Tsunami-warning buoys launched in Pacific

December 30, 2006

Six new tsunami reporting stations were deployed in the Pacific Ocean, providing more lead time for U.S. areas at the greatest risk, federal officials said.

The Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami in the southwest Pacific will allow the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide earlier detection of tsunamis traveling long distances to U.S. at-risk areas, such as the coasts of Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, the agency said.

Over the last two years, NOAA said it expanded and upgraded the system to include the Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"We have drastically improved our tsunami detection and warning capability since the Indian Ocean tsunami two years ago," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "These buoys are the latest achievement in an ongoing effort to increase the tsunami program at home and abroad."

NOAA joined with the government of Thailand to launch the first DART station in the Indian Ocean in early December, providing real-time tsunami detection as waves travel across open waters.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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