New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) India's first early earthquake warning system was displayed here on Thursday by its Indo-German promoters, who said it could dispatch a message or warning of an impending earthquake, giving ample time to save precious lives and facilities.
The device - Early Earthquake Warning and Security System - has been installed at the Haryana mini-secretariat in Chandigarh two days back.
It had successfully worked in Chile, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Pakistan in the past, the promoters said.
"During the 2010 Chile earthquake, the system sent out warning 35 seconds before the secondary or the most destructive earthquake waves could reach a particular area. The time window depends upon the distance between the point of installation and origin of the earthquake. Sometimes its even 15 seconds; it seems low, but its enough to save many lives," Juergen Przybylak, managing director of Secty Electronics, the German company which made this device, told IANS.
The system costs Rs.30 lakh, and is currently installed in over 20 countries in vulnerable seismic zones.
Prior to its installation in Chandigarh, the machine was successfully tested at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - Structural Engineering Research Centre (CSIR-SERC) lab in Chennai, said Prof Chandan Ghosh, head of the National Institute of Disaster Management (Geo Hazards Division).
"Delhi, National Capital Region and most parts of north India fall under seismic zone-4 and Srinagar in seismic zone-5. The challenge is to see if the set-up in the seismic zones are able to take earthquakes of the future," said Ghosh.
"We have apprised the ministry of earth science and the National Disaster Management Authority about the successful test at the CSIR-SERC and installation at Chandigarh for necessary action," said Bijender Goel, the Indian partner of the German manufacturers.
He said they had requested the government to make the system's import duty-free, till it can be manufactured under the 'Make in India' programme.