Taiwan to boost quake warning system

Nov 15, 2009
This file photo shows Wu Chang Gong temple in Taiwan which was partially levelled by a powerful earthquake ten years ago. Taiwan plans to build its first undersea seismic station, designed to improve the island's early warning system and save valuable seconds when earthquakes strike, according to officials.

Taiwan plans to build its first undersea seismic station, designed to improve the island's early warning system and save valuable seconds when earthquakes strike, officials said.

The station, which is due to come into service in 2011, would help reduce the margin of error when monitoring undersea quakes and improve on the island's existing system of land-based seismic stations.

The new facility would provide a roughly 10 second warning ahead of earthquakes and a 10 minute alert ahead of the impact of a tsunami, according to Kuo Kai-wen, the head of Taiwan's Centre.

"The few seconds extra will give people precious time to seek shelter and flee coastal areas in the case of killer quakes," he told AFP.

NEC of Japan won the 423 million dollar (13 million US) contract to build the station, which will be situated some 45 kilometres off the northeastern coast, an area frequently hit by earthquakes, he said.

Taiwan's three-phase has slashed the time of quake detection from up to three minutes in 1992 to around 35 seconds today.

The island, which lies near the junction of two tectonic plates, is regularly shaken by earthquakes. A 7.6-magnitude quake killed about 2,400 people in September 1999.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: NASA's HS3 mission covers transition of Hurricane Cristobal

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Taiwan scientist develops earthquake alarm

Sep 16, 2009

A Taiwanese scientist has developed an earthquake alarm that could give people a crucial 15-second warning in case of a tremor, one of his team said Wednesday.

Major Pacific earthquake prompts tsunami warning

Mar 20, 2009

A major 7.9-magnitude earthquake has shaken the South Pacific nation of Tonga and sending people in low lying areas of Fiji fleeing for higher ground after a tsunami warning, according to officials.

Recommended for you

NASA HS3 instrument views two dimensions of clouds

7 hours ago

NASA's Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) instrument, flying aboard an unmanned Global Hawk aircraft in this summer's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, mission, is studying the changing profile of the atmosphere ...

Research drones launched into Hurricane Edouard

9 hours ago

U.S. government scientists are launching winged drones into Hurricane Edouard, hoping to collect data that could help forecasters understand what makes some storms strengthen into monsters while others fade away.

User comments : 0