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The Indian government is hampering efforts to understand the earthquake that caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and prepare for future disasters, reports Nature.

India's ban on foreign boats in its territorial waters for 'reasons of national security' means that research vessels are unable to survey the northern section of the 1,300-kilometre-long rupture zone created by the earthquake.

According to Nature, scientists say other countries usually grant access for such research missions. But after decades of refusals, researchers have stopped asking India for permission.

Instead, foreign scientists depend on rare collaborations with Indian researchers to share the limited data they are able to obtain.

Link to full article in Nature

Read more about tsunamis in SciDev.Net's Tsunami update.