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Saturday, October 20, 2018


Queries from the media about the effect of the Asian tsunami on water depths in the crucial Malacca Straits continue, after industry concern that the massive power of the wave could have piled up silt in the narrow channel, and despite a statement by the Singapore authorities that they have had no reports of changes to water depths and that navigational aids have not moved there.  

In fact there are some concerns about changes to water depths in a number of ports. But while silting up is the commonly-perceived problem - in theory if not in fact - one port has seen precisely the opposite phenomenon. 

India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology estimates that the power of the huge tidal wave has actually removed some 450,000m3 of sediment from the entrance channel to Chennai (formerly Madras) on the south-east coast of India - reports talk of a massive draw-back of the sea right across this region immediately before the arrival of the monster wave. As a result of that powerful sucking effect, this port actually gained one metre of depth in its entrance channel (to 19.9 metres from 18.6) and 1-2 metres inside the harbour (for more information see Ports section). This makes Chennai the deepest port in India 

Members are urged to feed any information that they receive, directly or indirectly, about post-tsunami changes to ports in South East Asia to INTERTANKO for the benefit of all members.


Contact: Bill Box