India is developing a 3D mapping of vulnerable coastal areas in a bid to have new early warning systems for tsunamis, as the 10th anniversary of the disaster today was marked by beachside memorials and religious services in affected areas of southern India.
According to official estimates, 10,136 people were killed and hundreds of thousands rendered homeless in India when a tsunami triggered by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake near the Indonesian island of Sumatra struck the southern coast on December 26, 2004.
The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is developing a GIS-based 3D protocol in its efforts towards innovating new methodologies and warning procedures for tsunamis, Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Hyderabad.
“Today after 10 years of this devastation we once again pledge to strengthen our efforts further and introduce more innovations by evolving new strategies towards development of new methodologies and warning procedures (for tsunamis).”
“We are in process of developing a protocol on 3D model (3D mapping) which will be replicated by 3D mapping of vulnerable coastal areas,” he said at the inauguration of a national workshop on ‘Indian Tsunami Early Warning System: Progress, Challenges and Future Road Map’ at the city-based INCOIS.
Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary Shailesh Nayak said the future work is focused on sea-level inversion, real time inundation modelling, use of near-field GPS measurements of real-time rupture characterisation and GIS-3D mapping of vulnerable coastal areas.
“We have the pilot (GIS-based 3D protocol) at Cuddalore and Nagapattinam areas and all vulnerable areas (coastal areas) in the country will have a 3D GIS map with all details about the area and the population,” he said.
After the Indian Ocean tsunami, a state-of-the-art Indian Tsunami Early Warning System (ITEWS) was set up at INCOIS in 2007, Vardhan said.
Floral tributes and processions marked the solemn event in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu where 7,000 people lost their lives due to Tsunami which also left a trail of destruction.
Memorial services were held at Chennai and Nagapattinam which were the worst hit.
Commemorating the anniversary, fishermen associations had arranged for prayers and memorial services, with relatives of victims pouring milk in the sea at the famous Marina Beach in Chennai as a mark of respect to the departed souls.
In the coastal areas of Nagapattinam district, people observed a minute’s silence to pay homage to the victims.
In all the 72 tsunami-hit hamlets, people were seen paying homage to the departed souls and many were seen sobbing. Banners and hoardings containing the photos of the victims had been erected at many places.
In Kerala, People paid homage to victims of the Tsunami that lashed the coastal areas, mainly at Kollam and Alappuzha districts.
Remembrance meetings and special prayers were held at the coastal belt of Kayamkulam in Kollam and Alappad, Aratupuzha in Alappuzha districts where the waves had caused maximum damage. The tsunami claimed more than 160 lives in Kerala.