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Indonesia Pledges to Build Tsunami Warning System


Indonesia's president says Indian Ocean nations are starting work on creating a tsunami warning system for the region. The announcement comes as Indonesia's death toll from last week's earthquake and tsunami nears 100,000 and the overall toll approaches 150,000 deaths.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Monday that Indonesia will join with other countries around the Indian Ocean to create a tsunami warning system.

Thailand's government says the system is a high priority.

"We also have to think seriously about setting up a monitoring and early warning system in the Indian Ocean, which is lacking right now," said Sihasak Phuangketkeow, a spokesman for the Thai Foreign Ministry.

Thailand will be the first stop for U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who arrives in Bangkok late Monday. He will spend the next few days visiting countries hit hardest by a massive earthquake and tsunami waves on December 26. On Thursday, he will attend an emergency disaster relief summit in Jakarta.

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