WELLINGTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand will establish a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys, announced the government on Wednesday.
The announcement was jointly made by New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare.
"New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place," said Peters.
"DART buoys are the only tried and repeatedly tested technology that confirms the generation of tsunami waves before they reach the coast. This is particularly critical for unfelt earthquakes originating from the Kermadec trench."
Until now, New Zealand has been reliant on a single, aging DART buoy.
The network of 15 DART buoys will be establish to provide early detection and support warnings for tsunami generated from the Kermadec and Hikurangi trenches that are under New Zealand soil, according to Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare.
The new system is said to provide rapid confirmation if a tsunami has been generated, and will enable more accurate warnings of tsunami that can be communicated via public alerting systems like Emergency Mobile Alert.
The DART buoy network will also provide tsunami monitoring and detection information for Pacific countries, including Tokelau, Niue, the Cook Islands, Tonga and Samoa.
New Zealand is at risk from tsunamis that are generated from both local and international faults. Seismic activities are also very frequent in New Zealand. A fatal volcanic eruption at the White Island off the New Zealand east coast on Monday has left six dead and eight missing.