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Australian Tsunami warning system.

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16 July 2009

AUSTRALIAN TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today acknowledged the effectiveness of the Australian Tsunami Warning System (ATWS) following the undersea earthquake that took place last night off the coast of New Zealand.

“The nature of tsunamis means it is important to warn the community of a possible threat, and to use all possible time to prepare,” Mr McClelland said.

“For this reason, Australia has robust arrangements for coordinating responses to tsunami warnings.”

The ATWS is provided through the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre which operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week to detect and verify tsunami threats to Australia as a result of earthquakes.

The ATWS provides a comprehensive warning system capable of delivering timely and effective tsunami warnings to affected populations. It also supports international efforts to establish an Indian Ocean tsunami warning system, and contributes to the facilitation of tsunami warnings for the South-West Pacific.

“Last month, I was pleased to visit the ATWS and deliver the results of ‘Exercise Ausnami’, a comprehensive test of the system.”

The events of last night confirm the ability of the system to detect a tsunami threat and provide quick warnings to relevant authorities, emergency agencies and the Australian public.

“I would like to thank the staff of the Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia, Emergency Management Australia and relevant agencies in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Norfolk Island for their excellent work and quick cooperation.”

Media Contact: Adam Siddique 0407 473 630