Tsunami early warning system installed in India

A tsunami early warning center, which can alert people living along the coast within 13 minutes of getting data from seismic stations, was launched in India.

"This is a technological achievement of enormous magnitude," India's Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said while inaugurating the center on the outskirts of Hyderabad, the capital of southern Andhra Pradesh state.

The center, costing 1.25 billion rupees (US$32 million, EUR22.58 million), was built within three years.

A massive earthquake off Indonesia's Sumatra island in December 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people and left a half million homeless in a dozen countries. An estimated 10,700 were killed in India.

India's warning center will get data from six buoys and bottom pressure recorders in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

The center was successfully tested during the 8.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Indonesia last month, he said.

India will be sharing data and information about the earthquake and ocean surges with its neighbors, the minister said.

Nearly 400 million people living in India's coastal belt are vulnerable to oceanographic disasters.