Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Tsunami Warning Systems

The areas that were devastated by the recent tsunamis did not have adequate warning systems. Most of those killed in areas, like Sumatra, probably would not have been saved even if there had been adequate warning because of the closeness of the epicenter of the earthquake that started the giant waves. But other areas, like Sri Lanka and India, where it took 2-3 hours for the waves to come ashore, would have seen many fewer deaths.

I hope that some of the funds raised in response to this horrible disaster go to installing tsunami warning equipment in this area and other areas not covered by such equipment. The next time this happens, many will be spared. Think of it as an investment in the future.

Even so, if the bureaucracies and other sorts of things that slow down the flow of such critical information don't change, even the best warning systems won't have an effect.