death toll of more than 250,000. Additionally, 500,000 people were injured, and 5 million rendered homeless. Due to its favorable location, Singapore was spared, and within the ﬁrst several days contributed nearly $150 million to humanitarian aid in the affected countries.
Together with many Indian Ocean nations and in partnership with major international research centers, Singapore is pursuing research and development for an early tsunami warning system for Southeast Asia. A holistic sociotechnological infrastructure has to be built, with key systems which include advanced sensors, reliable communication networks, fast predictive algorithms, early warning systems, and educational outreach.
The project is executed by the Tropical Marine Science Institute and involves staff and postgraduate students of the Civil Engineering Departments of the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. Research directions of the project are grouped tentatively into three areas: (1) characterization of potential tsunamigenic sources, such as earthquakes and landslides; (2) accurate modeling of tsunami wave propagation and run-up; and (3) development of operational tsunami forecast capabilities. The early warning procedure (Figures 1 and 2) rely on historical and domain knowledge data, as well as operational information derived from the regional and global sensor networks, including seismic stations and deepwater buoys. A hybrid system comprising process-based and data-driven models, backed by high performance computing, will eventually be implemented to advise instantaneously on likely scenarios in future events.