TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has put in place an earthquake alert system that can give a warning 10 seconds in advance of an imminent tremor in the nation's eastern regions.
As a result of a collaboration between the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) and NEC Taiwan, the newly designed mechanism will allow for a 10-second emergency response before a quake and an alert 20- to 30-minutes ahead of an ensuing tsunami, according to the company. NEC is a Japanese multinational providing IT and network solutions.
The system involves the laying of a 620-km fiber-optic cable network along coastal areas of eastern Taiwan that connects Yilan in the north with Taitung and Pingtung in the east and south, respectively. The deepest part of the network lies some 5,800 meters beneath the sea, exceeding the elevation of Taiwan’s highest mountain, Mount Jade, which stands at 3,952 meters.
As part of the CWB’s Marine Cable Hosted Observatory (MACHO) project, it was completed in July and inaugurated in December of 2020. MACHO aims to bolster the country’s quake alert capabilities with offshore undersea monitoring stations.
Taiwan is prone to seismic activity as the nation sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire and has at least 33 active faults, according to the Central Geological Survey. Last month a magnitude-6.7 earthquake rattled eastern Taiwan, the biggest of 2020, triggering worries about an imminent, potentially devastating quake that may occur at subduction zones and impact Taipei, wrote UDN.