An Israeli company, according to the Economic Times, said it planned to distribute free to Asian countries hit by last week's tsunami a device it says could save lives by warning holiday-makers directly that a tidal wave is coming. The system, developed by inventor Meir Gitelis, uses land and water sensors, smaller than a shoe box and each costing $170, to measure seismic activity and wave motion. Like other systems already in operation, the sensors can send alerts in seconds by satellite to governments anywhere in the world. Unlike others, this system can also relay warnings directly to private subscribers over cellphones, pagers or dedicated receivers, spreading the message more widely. Seaside hotels could install a satellite receiver to pick up warnings broadcast over the system seconds after an earthquake that could cause giant waves. Local cellphone or pager networks could do the same and send SMS messages to their subscribers.
"The sensors determine the tremor's intensity as well as the height and speed of the waves above it",said Gitelis, of Avtipus Patents and Inventions Ltd., which specialises in sensors and communications devices.