Wednesday, April 20, 2005

SMS to warn of earthquakes


INDONESIA plans to develop a warning system which uses text messages to alert people about impending disasters, the information minister said today.

The result of a disaster early warning system in an area will be spread through SMSs (Short Message Services),
Information and Communication Minister Sofyan Jalil said.
The service will help 80 per cent of mobile phone users in a given area to be informed quickly about any impending natural disaster, and would generate a rapid response from government officials, he said.
The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMG), which would run the early warning system, would also connect with the media to speed up the sms service.
The Government will provide the BMG with adequate equipment to carry out its tasks,
Mr Jalil said.
The Government would also announce the warnings in key urban areas such as religious and commercial centres, he said.
Indonesia has been shaken by a series of earthquakes since the December 26 quake that generated a massive tsunami that killed more than 220,000 people around the Indian Ocean. The Indonesian archipelago has about 400 vulcanos, from which 350 still active. Not to mention the high risk of devastating earthquakes. I presume that the sms service is a viable solution for now. It will help of course, but the service is not sufficient.


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