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Nation, ASEAN agree on warning system
By Qin Chuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-27 03:18

China and ASEAN countries yesterday agreed on a plan to set up a system for an earthquake-generated tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian region.

The decision came after a 2-day China-ASEAN Workshop in Beijing. ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The plan will result in an Asian regional seismographic network, Chen Jianmin, director of the China Seismological Bureau, told a news conference.

Technical interchanges will allow information-sharing to be strengthened among China and ASEAN countries, he said, and his bureau has promised it will offer countries and organizations information from China's national seismographic network.

According to Chen, ASEAN countries welcomed China's proposal to host an Asian conference on disaster reduction in the near future. Chen added that a pressing task for China is to improve its existing earthquake-warning system along its coastline, which is 18,000 kilometres long and not free from the threat of tsunamis.

Walter Mooney, a senior research seismologist at the US Geological Survey, said the workshop provided good ideas. "To create a tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean is rather difficult because in some cases the distance from the earthquake and tsunami to land is very small," he said.

Laura Kong, director of the International Tsunami Information Centre under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said the risks of tsunami exist to different degrees in all oceans.

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