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Press Trust of India

India's largest news agency, Press Trust of India is a non-profit sharing cooperative owned by the country's newspapers. PTI's subscribers include newspapers, television channels, the state-run All India Radio and Doordarshan, the national broadcaster, government organisations, websites and several media and non-media organisations. With a staff of 1300 including 400 journalists, PTI has over 70 bureaus across the country and corresondents in major cities in the world.

Besides its flagship English News Service, PTI also has PTI Photo Service and news service in Hindi, India's national language.

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India a leader in tsunami warnings

New Delhi, Nov 2 (PTI) 'Tsunami' became a household name
in the country about a decade ago when the devastating seismic
sea waves killed 10,000 people in a few minutes in southern
India and at least 230,000 people lost their lives in the
December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Before that fateful Sunday morning twelve years ago,
Indians literally did not know whether a tsunami is spelt with
a `t' or `p'. There was literally no memory of a tsunami
having been experienced by the current generation in India.
Since then there is huge recognition that tsunamis can be one
of the most destructive natural forces on earth.
Lessons were learnt quickly and today India is a leader
in the Indian Ocean region, providing a 24x7 all year round
tsunami early warning service from its high-tech facility in
Occasional vandalism by occupants of fishing boats that
venture close to the sensors placed deep in the ocean, makes
the system vulnerable to break down. These fisher folk steal
the electronic parts and solar panels.
It is interesting to note that the Indian system has in
its decade long existence never issued a 'false warning' in
contrast to the much older and well-oiled Pacific Tsunami
Warning Center, which regularly issues warnings that do not
pan into real tsunamis, thus eroding the credibility of the
Sometimes late starters like India can quickly learn
lifesaving lessons that help forecasting in a big way.
An assessment by the United Nations Office for Disaster
Risk Reduction (UNISDR) suggests that "tsunamis are rare. But
they can be extremely deadly. In the past 100 years, more than
260,000 people have perished in 58 separate tsunamis.
"At an average of 4,600 deaths per disaster, the toll has
surpassed any other natural hazard. Tsunamis know no borders,
making international cooperation key for deeper political and
public understanding of risk reduction measures," it said.
The first world tsunami awareness day will be celebrated
on November 5, 2016 spearheaded by the Indian government. To
commemorate the occasion, Asian Ministerial Conference for
Disaster Risk Reduction 2016 will be held in New Delhi in
collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk
Reduction (UNISDR).
According to UNISDR, the significance of this day can be
traced back to the year 1854. A villager in Wakayama
Prefecture, Japan, was concerned about an impending tsunami
after a high-intensity earthquake on November 5, 1854. He set
up a fire to rice sheaves on the top of a hill. Fellow
villagers, who went atop to put off the fire, were saved even
as a tsunami destroyed their village down below.
This was the first documented instance of a tsunami early
warning. To commemorate that day of "Inamura no Hi" (the
burning of rice sheaves), disaster experts spread awareness on
the issue.
Tsunami are also called `harbour waves' since they cause
maximum damage in coastal areas and harbours. Usual waves in
the ocean and lakes are generated because of the gravitational
pull of the moon and due to winds and these are usually very
docile. But a tsunami is a wave which packs in a massive punch
and can devastate coastal zones.
Tsunami travels across oceans at the speed at which an
airplane flies and can circle the globe several times before
they die off. In fact, ships in deep waters barely feel a
tsunami passing underneath them, but when the tsunami wave
enters shallow regions, the energy gets concentrated and can
create waves as high as 20-30 meters and can travel several
kilometres inland.
At Nagapatinam and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu after the 2004
tsunami, big boats could be seen left stranded several
kilometres from the sea as the waves simply lifted them and
deposited them way inland.
A tsunami can be generated when a massive underwater
earthquake causes rapid displacement of water. The 2004
tsunami was generated because of a gia