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Fri 11 May 2007 02:33 PM

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Tsunami warning system for Oman

Sultanate invests in advanced technology that will monitor seismic activity along the Makran trench.

Oman is set to install an advanced seismic monitoring station that will form the basis of an early warning system for tsunamis.

The system, which has been developed by Lighthouse R&D Enterprises, and American research firm, will be positioned close to the Makran trench, a known source of high magnitude events and tsunamis, according to the Oceanographic Institution.

The trench runs between Oman's northeast coast and the southern coasts of Iran and Pakistan.

An earthquake and resultant tsunami on the Makran trench in 1945 was responsible for the deaths of 4000 people along the Makran coast of Pakistan, as well as coastal areas of Iran, Oman and western India.

The tsunami wave was recorded at a maximum height of 13 metres (40 feet).

Omani citizens were panicked last week when rumours surfaced about the threat of a tsunami. The rumours proved to be baseless and experts reassured the country that the risk of a deadly wave remain very low.

Dr. Issa Al Hussain, Director of Seismology Centre at Sultan Qaboos University said that there had been no signs of a strong earthquake in nearby areas to Oman.

But Dr. Al Hussain cautioned that predicting seismic activity is not an exact science, and welcomed technology that could improve scientific knowledge of the area.