Centre for Research on Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation




 January 2005
www.globalresearch.ca January 2005

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/501A.html

The Tsunami which has hit the Indian Ocean nations has unleashed the most devastating humanitarian disaster in recorded history.

While the matter has been skirted by the media, it is now fairly well established that there were serious failures in the warning system.  

Why were the countries were not informed of an impending disaster? 

In the words of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe:

Given this fact, what efforts, if any, were made to contact those other nations in the region that were also in harm’s way? If NOAA did not have the appropriate contacts, as has been reported, why was this the case? Was an attempt made to obtain that contact information – and if not, why not? These are questions that must be answered.”

Reports published in the immediate wake of the disaster (including that of Global Research released on 29 Dec.) focused on failures of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System, based in Hawaii.

The Earthquake took place at 00.58.53 GMT on the 26th of December. Fifteen minutes later, at 01.14 GMT the Tsunami Warning Center confirmed in a routine fashion: "There is no Tsunami Warning or Watch in Effect" [in the Pacific].

Prior to the Bulletin release, the tsunami had already hit the Sumatra coastline including Banda, the capital of Aceh province. In other words, to affirm that there was no tsunami was simply inorrect. Not only had it already happened, it was confirmed by GPS satellite images.

In a subsequent statement the Director of the Hawaii Warning Center stated that it was only when the earthquake had hit Sri Lanka, more than one and a half hours later, at 2.30 GMT that they realized what was happening: 

"Not until the deadly wave hit Sri Lanka and the scientists in Honolulu saw news reports of the damage there did they recognize what was happening...'Then we knew there was something moving across the Indian Ocean,' said Charles McCreery. (quoted in the NYT, 28 Dec 2004 ).

Who informs Who?

The early press reports acknowledged that while the Indian Ocean countries had not were not informed, the US State Department and the Military, including the US Navy base on the island of Diego Garcia in in Indian Ocean had been notified by the Pacific Warning Center.

These early press reports are in some respects misleading because they did not clearly identify the source of the seismic information used by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in its bulletins.

The seismic information regarding the earthquake did not originate at the TPWC, which is part of the Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The latter is under jurisdiction of the US Dept. of Commerce.

the seismic information was transmitted to the PTWC from the National Earthquake Information Center in Denver, Colorado, which is an agency of the US Department of the Interior.

The NEIC is linked up to earthquake seismic stations both in the US and internationally including some 40 stations which are part of the IDA/IRIS network. (See Eric Waddell, The Tsunami: Why Weren't They Warned? Jan 2005, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/WAD501A.html )

More specifically, the seismic information regarding the 9.0 earthquake off the Sumatran coast originated from four IDA/IRIS seismic stations located in the Indian Ocean, one of which DGAR (Diego Garcia) is actually located on the site of the US Navy base.

The other three stations are: COCO (Cocos [Keeling] Islands which is located in an Australian administered territory, PALK (Sri Lanka), and MSEY (Seychelles) . The Diego Garcia station "is the most recent facility established by the IDA project, becoming operational in late January 2004." (Ibid)

The Chain of information

In other words, the seismic information recorded at these four Indian Ocean stations is transmitted to IRIS/IDA, which transmits it the NEIC, which is an agency of the US Department of the Interior, which then sends it to the Tsunami Warning  Center, which then, according to the press reports, informs the US government and the US Navy base in Diego Garcia.

What we are suggesting is that the TPWC in Hawaii is on "the receiving end" of the seismic information. To state that they informed the US government is misleading. The US government already knew because the information had been processed by a US government agency, namely NEIC. In fact, this information with modern systems of communication is transmitted almost instantaneously from these four seismic stations to the Denver Center as well as to the TPWC in Hawaii.

The seismic station DGAR (Diego Garcia) is in a vault. While it was established with the cooperation of the US Navy, it is not part of the Navy's facilities on the island, although it uses the island's communications facilities to transmit its seismic readings to the IDA/IRIS center in Seattle.

We are not dealing solely with information from a single warning Center in Ewo Hawaii but with a network of seismic information.  What questions should we be asking? What agencies in the US, in the affected countries and internationally were informed.


The US government and military had been informed of a 9.0 earthquake. At 00.58 GMT, seismic observatories both in the Pacific basin and the Indian Ocean detected an earthquake of 9.0 Magnitude on the Richter Scale, ten times more powerful than a 8.0 on the Richter scale, among the largest in recorded history.

Following the earthquake, the tsunami was unleashed. In other words, the Tsunami was immediate. Minutes later it had devastated the North Sumatra coastline and was confirmed by Satellite images. These images were available to a number of agencies both in the US and internationally.

There were no Ocean sensors and buoys in the Indian Ocean. But this was not the cause of the failures in the warning system.

The Tsunami became active immediately following the earthquake. It hit the coast of Northern Sumatra almost immediately. It was therefore "detected" within minutes of the Earthquake. In other words, the absence of Ocean sensors was not the key factor. In the case of a 9.0 Earthquake, the tsunami happened immediately following the earthquake.

Why did this information not get relayed to the countries were people in the affected countries not given the same the warning 

Generally, the media skirted the issue.

The failures of the warning system were attributed to the absence of Ocean sensors and buoys, which could be used to detect a tsunami, as in the case of the Pacific tsunami system. (See below)

1. Seismic observatories in the region detect an earthquake and send data to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.
2. If the earthquake is in the Pacific basin and above 7.5 on Richter scale, an initial "Tsunami watch" alert is sent out.
3. Data from monitoring stations deep on the seabed near the earthquake's epicentre is checked for signs of a tsunami.
4. If a tsunami is detected, full warnings are sent out via national systems which have been set up in several countries.

Source: BBC

Earlier reports pointed to possible failures of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System in response to seismic data.

These are the procedures which were followed on the 26th of December in response to an Earthquake of 9.0 on the Richter scale.

1. At 00.58 GMT, seismic observatories both in the Pacific basin and the Indian Ocean detected an earthquake of 9.0 Magnitude on the Richter Scale, ten times more powerful than a 8.0 on the Richter scale, among the largest in recorded history.

2. The Tsunami was immediate. Minutes later it devastated the North Sumatra coastline and was confirmed by Satellite images. There are no Ocean sensors in the Indian Ocean. But this was not the cause of the failures in the warning system. The Tsunami became active immediately following the earthquake. It hit the coast of Northern Sumatra almost immediately. It was therefore "detected" within minutes of the Earthquake. In other words, the absence of Ocean sensors was not the key factor. In the case of a 9.0 Earthquake, the tsunami happened immediately following the earthquake.

3. No warnings were sent out following the seismic readings despite the fact that the tsunami had already hit the Indonesian coast. This is the key issue. The Tsunami was active, and this was known, corroborated by GPS satellite images at least 30 minutes prior to hitting Thailand.

what happened is that the seismic readings did not come from the Hawaii Center which monitors tsunamis in the Pacific basin, and transmits it, it came from seismic readings in the  Indian Ocean, and more specifically from a seismic senor in  vault located at the military island base of Diego Garcia. Earlier interpretations of the warning system including our own analysis pointed to the Hawaii Center which actually made statements to the media. The Pacific Warning Center is said to have informed the Us military and the state Departytment as well as the military base, all of which together with the member countries were on its address book,

However, this interpretation provides an incomplete assessment, seismic readings were available directly from two centers in the Indian Ocean, in Sri lanka and Diego Garcia, the sensors  would establish seismic readings on the Richter scale for the Indian Ocean and relay them to two centers in the Us, in Seattle and Denver, Colorado, in all likelihood this data was also available to Us military and intelligence which works clearly with NOAA and other scientific agencies in the collection and interpretation of this data.

The most modern seismic sensor is in fact that of the Island military base of Diego Garcia, relayed to the other two centers. Although not formally part of the UIs military facility, it was established in liaison with Us navy authorities at the Diego Garcia Naval facility, and would assume that the information collected on location was also made available to the Us Navy. What this suggests is that the US Navy, Centers in Denver and Seattle as well as other seismic centers, had collected this information right from the outset. in other words at 000.58 GMT they knew what happening, moreover the Us military had satellite images of the tsunami, within minutes of the earthquake when it hit the coast of Sumatra and therefore they could have informed the countries through mass communication on the movement of the tidal wave. The approximate speed of the movement of the tidal wave was known, they knew approximately at what time it would hit the coastlines of India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.  So why was this information not made public,

the source is from the Denver station which is relayed through the IRIs netowrk, GS NEIC (WDCS-D) suggests that the data was from the Denver Center as well as from the National Earthqauke informaiton Center at the Denver Center, this is wherethe inf comes from, and is relayed,



the megathrust earthquake

The list of recent earthquakes available through "finger [email protected]" is a service provided by the National Earthquake Information Service (NEIS) of the U. S. Geological Survey. The NEIS is located at the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado, USA which also serves as World Data Center A for Seismology. The NEIS is a member of the Council of the National Seismic System (CNSS) which coordinates activities among the national and regional seismograph networks, including "finger quake" services. The NEIS is also closely associated with the U. S. National Seismograph Network (USNSN) and cooperates with national and international seismological organizations around the world. Unlike other members of the CNSS, the NEIS is responsible for reporting on moderate to large earthquakes throughout the U. S. and large earthquakes worldwide.

On an immediate basis, all Earthquake Early Alerting Service alarm events will be made available to the "quake" list. At a minimum, this will includes most earthquakes in the contiguous United States, Hawaii, and the more populated areas of Alaska of magnitude 4.5 or greater, most other earthquakes in the United States of magnitude 5.5 or greater, and most foreign earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or greater. In practice, many foreign earthquakes smaller than a magnitude of 6.5 will also be provided on an immediate basis. Typically, this would include earthquakes in Mexico of magnitude 4.8 or larger, earthquakes in northern South America of magnitude 5.0 or larger, earthquakes in central and southern South America and in the Kuril Islands of magnitude 5.5 or larger, and most other foreign earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or larger.

avaialble immediately

seimic activuity in excess of 6 has contuned in the N Sumatra and Nicobar islands since 326 Dec







notification service


Bigquake is an informational tool and NOT an earthquake or tsunami warning system. The USGS does not produce tsunami warnings. For the information about tsunamis, please refer to the information given in the NOAA website http://tsunami.gov .

  Location Date UTC Magnitude Coordinates
1. Chile 1960 05 22 9.5 38.24 S 73.05 W
2. Prince William Sound, Alaska 1964 03 28 9.2 61.02 N 147.65 W
3. Andreanof Islands, Alaska 1957 03 09 9.1 51.56 N 175.39 W
4. Kamchatka 1952 11 04 9.0 52.76 N 160.06 E
5. Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra 2004 12 26 9.0 3.30 N 95.78 E
6. Off the Coast of Ecuador 1906 01 31 8.8 1.0 N 81.5 W
7. Rat Islands, Alaska 1965 02 04 8.7 51.21 N 178.50 E
8. Assam - Tibet 1950 08 15 8.6 28.5 N 96.5 E
9. Kamchatka 1923 02 03 8.5 54.0 N 161.0 E
10. Banda Sea, Indonesia 1938 02 01 8.5 5.05 S 131.62 E
11. Kuril Islands 1963 10 13 8.5 44.9 N 149.6 E

PostScript file for Map


quoted from Alexander

7 January 2005

Alexander Tomboulidis

e-mail: [email protected]

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This Organization’s aims, among others, are the “..collaboration among nations in education, science, … and in disseminating information”. UNESCO was established in 1946 and its headquarters is in Paris, France.

The World Meteorological Organization  (WMO) founded in 1951 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.  Its purpose is to “…facilitate world-wide co-operation in meteorological, hydrological and other geophysical observations, …and to establish a system for the rapid exchange of information about these observations..”

It should be born in mind that Britain is the mother country of the British Commonwealth to which also belong 3 of the hardest hit by the tidal wave countries: Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives.  Even though Britain has numerous agreements with its former colonies for economic and technological cooperation, at this most critical of all moments, Britain chose to do nothing and let the catastrophe unfold, showing for one more time its racist and anti-human face.

It is known to every soul on this planet that Sweden never misses an opportunity to advertise the Meteorological and Seismographic Institute at Upsala as the best in the world.  And yet Sweden, guided by the same racist and misanthropic nature as Britain, chose not to inform the governments and the people that were about to be devastated by the tidal wave.  Sweden’s sorrow and interest for the missing 3.000 Swedish citizens, is a lie and a hypocrisy.

metreolgoical satellites

Organisations operating Seismograph Networks or distributing data in the European Mediterranean area





Earth scientists around the world use NASA satellite imagery to better understand the causes and effects of natural hazards. The goal in sharing these images is to help people visualize where and when natural hazards occur, and to help mitigate their effects. All images in this section are freely available to the public for re-use or re-publication (please use credits as indicated for each image). More images can be found in our archive of older events . Check out our related links .





EPICENTRE OF MAINSHOCK AT 06:28 AM Indian Standard Time (IST, 00:58 UTC/GMT).
The epicentre of this earthquake was 42 kms N of Batunazerah (Simeulue Island), Indonesia,
or 102 kms SSW of Meulaboh (Sumatera), Indonesia,
or 257 kms SSE of Banda Aceh (Sumatera), Indonesia,
or 324 kms W of Medan (Sumatera), Indonesia,
or 990 kms SSE of Port Blair (South Andaman Island), India,
or 1806 kms ESE of Colombo, Sri Lanka,
or 2028 kms SE of Chennai (Tamil Nadu), India,
or 2177 kms SE of Bhubaneswar (Orissa), India

the tsunami was travelling at 20 km a minute with regard to Sri Lanka, it hit the Indonesian coast within 5 minutes 11 minutes before release of bulletin,

Banda Aceh 12 minutes, at 01.10 utc, 4 minutes before release of bulletin,

A major tsunami also struck the coast of Aceh province shortly after the earthquake and was reported from the towns of  Banda Aceh and Lhokseumawe. Heavy damage and fatalities are reported from Banda Aceh and other towns in the province of Aceh. Large sections of Banda Aceh were destroyed in the tsunami. Satellite photos show the true extent of the damage to the city, with large northern sections completely wiped out. The Indonesia army and police cordoned off these sections to survivors as they cleared away thousands of bodies. Many fishing villages and towns such as Calang and Meulaboh, along the west coast of Aceh province were almost completely washed away. People are believed to have watched the water recede and the ran to pick up fish left stranded on the seafloor while other rushed to take photographs. The waves that followed penetrated the coast to a great extent but in some places their force was arrested by high cliffs along the shore.




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