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Taiwan's CWB aims to be able to detect, report on quakes in 30 seconds

Taiwan's CWB aims to be able to detect, report on quakes in 30 seconds

The Central Weather Bureau (中央氣象局) (CWB) has continued to improve its earthquake monitoring technology and expertise with the aim of being able to detect and report on earthquakes within 30 seconds after they strike, a senior CWB official in charge seismology said yesterday.
The CWB Seismology Center plans by the end of 2009 to be able to detect the epicenter and intensity of a quake in the Taiwan area within 30 seconds of it striking, according to a proposal submitted by the CWB to the Legislative Yuan for budget screening.
The weather bureau also aims to disseminate disaster information within seconds to the public via cell phone text messaging, fax, email and other global-based Internet systems, according to the CWB budget proposal.
Monitoring stations
According to Seismology Center Director Kuo Kai-wen, the center currently maintains 109 earthquake monitoring stations nationwide, and can detect the intensity and epicenter of a quake within 35 seconds - a world leading performance.
Northeast coast
In comparison, Kuo said, Japan can detect an earthquake and report on it in one minute, while the United States can do it in 40-50 minutes because of its vast territory.
"Twenty years ago when the center had only 22 monitoring stations, Taiwan needed 40-50 minutes to detect and report on an earthquake," Kuo recalled.
According to the 2009 CWB budget proposal, it would require roughly NT$364 million to increase the number of underground seismic observation stations and to implement an undersea marine seismic observation system off Taiwan's eastern coast.
According to the Seismology Center, 70 percent of the earthquakes around Taiwan originate off the northeast coast, which tends to affect the greater Taipei area.
However, all of Taiwan's existing earthquake monitoring systems are located on land.


Updated : 2021-05-17 00:09 GMT+08:00