The Media's View

The following are excerpts taken from Irish Media, highlighting the deficiencies in Irelands Preparation for a possible disaster.



There is currently no warning system in place to alert the state in the event of a major tsunami or earthquake. The Dublin Institute of advanced Studies  (DIAS) has been recording local and worldwide seismic events since the mid-1970's, but it has described its equipment as "antiquated". (The Irish Times, Tue, Jan 31,06:Call for Irish tsunami warning system by Alison Healy).


According to the director of the DIAS Ireland seems to be the only Western nation without a national seismic network and it is the only nation that doesn't have real-time data coming in. We are therefore in a very weak position. The experimental officer in the DIAS's geophysics section highlighted that the US installed the initial seismic station on Valentina Island, Co Kerry in 1962 as part of a research project but it is now insufficient. Other insufficient stations that have been put in place include one that was installed in 1978 that cannot provide instantaneous data and one that is run here on behalf of Germany, it can only deliver information within between 20 minutes and four hours. (The Irish Times, Thu, Dec 15, 05: Tsunami alert system urged by Dick Ahlstrom).


The threat of a tsunami hitting Ireland's coast stems from the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands. A chunk of this volcano could fall into the sea, causing a major tsunami that would reach Ireland in about six hours. A spokeswoman for the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) said that after the Indian Ocean tsunami of December '04, countries across the world are considering appropriate warning systems and Ireland is no exception. (The Irish Times, Tue, Jan 31, 06:Call for Irish tsunami warning system by Alison Healy).


The DIAS estimates that Ireland would have to be prepared to invest some 400,000-euro in order to buy a five-station network, providing national coverage and instantaneous data. Added to that is the cost of staff and maintenance which would come to about 75,000-euro annually. This is the only way we could gain the early warning system we are currently lacking. (The Irish Times, Thu, Dec 15, 05: Tsunami alert system urged  by Dick Ahlstrom).