Earthquake monitoring system in the Andamans

3 weeks ago Shruti Goel 0

Real-time monitoring of earthquakes is under planning. It is to be done by setting up a diverse system of sensors on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The operation is being carried out by the Indian Tsunami Early Warning System (ITEWS) of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). At 28 locations on the island, strong motion sensors have been installed containing Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Upon the clearance of an awaiting permission from the environment and forest departments, three more ‘cabins’ will be installed. The sensors will be placed deep into the forests.

These sensors will be linked to the satellites and will also be interconnected to each other, thus enabling the scientists to control and detect the minute land mass movements and seismic data in real-time. This will help them in estimating the impact and to act quickly.

earthquake sensors in andamans

INCOIS comes under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It possesses a satellite communication system which is fail-safe, Emergency Operation centres (EOCs), VSAT based VoIP phone and fax, electronic display board, and a computer-based earthquake alert and web access system.

The system is capable enough of sending messages linking the tsunami events. It also triggers a built-in siren alert system which can be heard for up to 1 km.


Tsunami comprises of a series of waves in a large water body occurring due to the displacement of a large amount of water. It usually occurs in an ocean or a large lake. The wavelengths of Tsunami waves are far longer thus making them different from the usual underwater currents. It can be caused due to many factors such as the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and various other disasters. Due to the same reason, efforts are being made by the INCOIS to previously detect the occurrence of such calamities.

There have been many records of the incidents when a tsunami has created much chaos and disaster. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami is among the pernicious and one of the most deadly natural disasters in the history of humanity. The disaster affected the 14 countries bordering the Indian Ocean where almost 230,000 people were killed and went missing.

tsunami hazard zone sign board

Tsunami from quakes

Shallow earthquakes having an epicentre or fault, near or on the floor of the ocean are the reasons behind the tsunamis. High seismicity of these regions is due to the collision of tectonic plates. These earthquakes are capable of displacing or tilting the ocean floors ranging from a few kilometres to 1000 km and more. These disturbances on the ocean floors displace the water causing deadly and destructive tsunami waves.

science of earthquakes

The efforts made by the scientists can help them in getting real-time seismic data. As a result, they will be able to act faster. The sensors and the system are capable of detecting the globally occurring earthquakes of 5 magnitudes and above. Time taken is within 5 to 10 minutes of the event.

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