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Taiwan launches new earthquake, tsunami monitoring system

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President Tsai Ing-wen. (center)

President Tsai Ing-wen. (center) (CNA photo)

A new undersea earthquake and tsunami monitoring system was officially launched in Taiwan on Thursday (Dec. 31), enabling the authorities to provide early warnings to the public in case of seismic hazards.

In November, the country completed a 735-kilometer undersea cable monitoring system that stretches from Yilan County in the northeast, southeast into the Pacific Ocean, and back around Eluanbi in Pingtung County, Taiwan's most southerly point.

The network is expected to provide an additional warning of at least 10 seconds in the event of an earthquake and 20-30 minutes for tsunamis, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), which is part of the team that propelled the project.

Speaking at the system's inauguration ceremony, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) praised the network as being part of the government's forward-looking infrastructure development plan that was launched in 2017, which covers a wide range of projects aimed at building the infrastructure the country will need for its development over the next three decades.

The system can issue advance warnings, which can help to prevent loss of life and damage to property, Tsai explained.

According to the CWB, there are nine underwater seismic stations reaching a maximum depth of 5,554 meters, while the cable reaches a depth of 5,796 meters, the bureau said.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), who was also at the event, said that another 800-km undersea cable similar in nature is currently in the works.

This project, which will include undersea cables stretching from southern Taiwan to its southwestern corridor near the Manila Trench, is expected to take place between 2021 and 2024, the CWB said, highlighting the fact of its importance, as this oceanic trench is associated with frequent earthquakes.

According to the bureau, this 800-km monitoring system will be designed to monitor seismic activity in the Manila Trench.


Updated : 2021-01-18 16:44 GMT+08:00