BT develops low-cost tsunami warning system

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BT has developed a low-cost sea monitoring technology that can be used to alert coastal communities of approaching floods or tsunamis.

The "Secoas" system works by setting up a network of sensors that are attached to buoys along coastlines that monitor changes to sea levels and transmit that data back to shore by radio networks. The sensors can also be used in rivers.

The system has been designed to be cheap and easy to deploy. Traditional sea-monitoring systems cost tens of thousands of pounds to manufacture and thousands more to deploy, BT said. In contrast, each Secoas sensor should cost about £100 off the shelf, making the system accessible to poor countries.

The system has been developed with the help of academics, fishermen and oceanographers and has been tested off the Norfolk coast.