Idling monitoring equipment proves ineffective during quake, tsunami

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 January 2005, 04:25 GMT]
Prof. Kapila Dahanayake of the Department of Geology, Peradeniya University, told the media Thursday that Rs. 30 million worth of earthquake-monitoring equipment provided by the Japanese Jeyha Institute to the Geology Department has remained dysfunctional for the last 3 months. The equipment was supplied about a year and a half ago, Mr Dahanayake added.

The monitoring equipment was installed at the Peradeniya, Eastern, Rajarata and Ruhunu Universities. Peradeniya University is designated as the co-ordinating centre from where it is possible to communicate with the International Seismic Monitoring Centre. The equipment is capable of recording information relating to earthquakes that occur in any part of the world between 15 and 50 hours of its occurrence, according to the specification of the equipment, the Professor said.

Prof. Dahanayake also revealed that the computer servicing the monitoring device has been out of order, and for want of funds to repair the computer the whole system has remained idle for the last 3 months.

University sources further revealed that the equipment has not been used from the time it arrived in Sri Lanka. Some staffers of the Peradeniya University Geology Dept were also trained at at the Jeyha Institute to handle the equipment.

Sometime before the Tsunami disaster struck, residents of Central Province had informed the media of tremors taking place, but there was no immediate confirmation of this from the Dept of Geological Survey. However. California University analysts have stated in a communique that they warned 26 countries and that unfortunately countries including India and Sri Lanka were not equipped to receive the alerts.

 

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