Open minds, A step in the right direction

I have very strongly advocated that scientific community all over the world, especially for countries like India and Pakistan should "think afresh" in start sharing the data in real time for natural disasters or for that matter most of the endeavors. Only, then there will be progress toward mitigation strategies and realistic first-responder approaches that will save millions of lives over the years. I have written about it in past too. I am encouraged to see that India is opening up for sharing data - it is not fully open yet but a step in the right direction. Excerpts from Nature, December 22 2005, India makes waves over tsunami warning system:

India has agreed to share seismic data from four of its monitoring stations as part of a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean. But its offer has left many unimpressed.

The warning system will use a maze of deep ocean sensors and tide gauges surrounding the fault that ruptured on 26 December 2004. This earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in 11 countries. But crucial to the network will be real-time seismic data from stations in the region.

India has been averse to sharing its seismic data in order to keep information about its underground nuclear tests a secret. "The only station that is available to the global seismic network has a delay of about three weeks before data are disseminated," says Walter Mooney of the US Geological Survey, headquartered in Reston, Virginia.

India's offer, announced at the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG) in Hyderabad last week, is limited to data on earthquakes with a magnitude of six and above, along the coast of Indonesia and Pakistan. Signals from nuclear tests would be much weaker than this. "For the purpose of tsunami warning we think our offer should be quite satisfactory," India's science secretary Valangiman Ramamurthy told Nature.



A step in the right direction - let us not stop - let us keep moving.