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Report: Three early warning buoys installed in Malaysia after Aceh quake no longer in use.

Three deep-water buoys worth RM7.2 million meant to gather data as part of an early tsunami warning system in Malaysia are no longer functioning, New Straits Times (NST) reported today.

The tsunami buoy project is the result of a Malaysia-Indonesia collaboration following the 2004 Aceh earthquake, which killed more than 230,000 people from 14 nations, including Malaysia.

The national daily reported that two buoys installed in 2006 in the Andaman Sea and South China Sea are lost.

The Norway-made equipment was either dragged away by sea currents or through vandalism.

Authorities learnt about the missing buoys after they failed to transmit data every 15 minutes as they were meant to do.

The news report also said that a third tsunami buoy installed near Sipadan Island in Sabah was no longer in use after it exploded while maintenance work was being carried out.

The Malaysia Meteorology Department director-general told NST that the buoys' main contractor Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd was forced to dispose the three buoys following Cabinet approval.

'The approval to dispose of the buoys was due to multiple factors such as maintenance cost, effectiveness and durability.

'Due to the equipment's position in the middle of the sea, the twice-a-year maintenance cost came close to half a million ringgit.

'The buoy's role and function has been taken over by an alternative system, which combines tide gauges, coastal cameras and siren system that are being installed in stages nationwide,' he said.

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Publication:Malay Mail Online (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Geographic Code:9INDO
Date:Oct 4, 2018
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