NEWS

Tsunami readiness tests for coastlines

Greece should start holding tsunami readiness tests in the southern Aegean and southern Ionian, according to Greek and Italian scientists who are creating an early warning system for the Mediterranean. The system, being developed under the auspices of UNESCO, should be in place by the end of the year and fully functional by 2011, according to Stefano Tinti of the University of Bologna. Already three seismograph systems are in operation, said Gerasimos Papadopoulos of the Athens Geodynmaic Institute, adding that six sea-level gauges will be set up, two in Crete and four in the Ionian. Particular care must be taken during the tourist season, the experts said. «Local authorities will be trained in readiness exercises,» Tinti said. «Evacuating the beaches of 10 Greek islands in summer cannot be taken lightly,» he added.