UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A United Nations-backed North Atlantic and Mediterranean tsunami warning system has passed a first test of its communication network, officials said.
The successful test Wednesday paves the way for the establishment of regional tsunami warning centers, a U.N. release said.
Tsunami warning focal points in 31 countries in the region took part in the test of the system, which was established in 2005 under the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
A test message was sent via e-mail, fax and telephone from Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute in Turkey to the 31 focal points. Early results show the messages were received within a few minutes of being sent, UNESCO said.
The first two regional tsunami centers will be in Turkey and France and should be operational by 2012, with others planned for Greece, Italy and Portugal.