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Computer System Might Have Reduced Tsunami Toll
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 12/28/2004 12:54:00 AM.

The catastrophic death toll in Asia caused by a massive tsunami might have been reduced had India and Sri Lanka been part of an international warning system designed to warn coastal communities about potentially deadly waves, scientists say.

Some 5,300 people in India and Sri Lanka were among the more than 11,000 people killed after being hit by walls of water triggered by a tremendous earthquake early Sunday off Sumatra.

The warning system is designed to alert nations that potentially destructive waves may hit their coastlines within three to 14 hours. Scientists said seismic networks recorded Sunday's massive earthquake, but without wave sensors in the region, there was no way to determine the direction a tsunami would travel.

A single wave station south of the earthquake's epicenter registered tsunami activity less than 2 feet high heading south toward Australia, researchers said.

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