The Hindu , 18 July 2006

Cusat to set up centre for tsunami studies

KOCHI: Research on the impact of tsunami on the coastal areas of Kerala is slowly getting shape. As a preliminary step, the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) has come up with a centre for tsunami studies.

The official inauguration of the centre will be held on Thursday. The centre plans to set up a seismic station and a tidal-gauge network to detect the deadly waves. A sum Rs.50 lakhs will be utilised for setting up the facilities.

The seismic station will provide information on earthquakes while the tidal gauge will keep tabs on tidal variations off the Kochi shore. There are four tidal gauges along the Kerala coast, including the one in the Kochi harbour area.

The new centre, part of Cusat's School of Marine Sciences, has plans to prepare accurate models of tsunami propagation. The School has already geo-morphologically mapped the Alapad and Arattupuzha areas in Kollam and Alappuzha districts respectively that were worst hit by the tsunami.

Tsunami centre chief coordinator K.T. Damodaran said that the centre would identify the inundation areas and demarcate hotspots in vulnerable areas along the southwest coast of India in general and Kerala coast in particular. "The geo-morphological and oceanographic studies of the areas hit by tsunami like Alapad and Arattupuzha would get top priority during the investigation. Results yielded from research studies would be compared with the situations elsewhere along the coastal tract of Kerala," Dr. Damodaran said.