Revealed: how the tsunami warning was bungled

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The Independent Online

A warning that would have alerted countries in the path of the Christmas tsunami was not sent because of red tape, The Independent on Sunday has learned. But if the 30ft wave had been a mere typhoon, a warning would have been sent.

A warning that would have alerted countries in the path of the Christmas tsunami was not sent because of red tape, The Independent on Sunday has learned. But if the 30ft wave had been a mere typhoon, a warning would have been sent.

Scientists at the Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii did not use an existing rapid telecommunications system set up to get warnings around the world almost instantly because the bureaucratic arrangements were not in place.

UN officials have revealed that the scientists did not use the World Meteorological Organisation's global telecommunication system to contact Indian Ocean countries because the "protocols were not in place''. The system which links the world's national meteorological services is designed to get warnings out within 30 minutes.

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