Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα early warning. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα early warning. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 21, 2014

China: Largest seismic alert network developed

China has built the world's largest earthquake early warning network with over 5,000 earthquake early warning stations that cover large areas of China's main seismic zones, the China News Service reported on Monday.

The Chengdu Institute of Care-life, a prominent seismology research institute in Sichuan Province, announced Monday that with the support of the central government, including the Ministry of Science, and the Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Province, 5,010 earthquake early warning stations have been built across 25 provincial-level regions, allowing the monitoring of nearly 2 million square kilometers, home to around 650 million people.


The network covers 80 percent of China's more densely populated seismically active regions including Southwest China's Yunnan Province and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Wang Tun, director of the institute, told the Global Times that the system has been tested by thousands of earthquakes, of which 18 were destructive.

"Our system has never misinformed us or missed any earthquakes since the project launched in 2011. We successfully detected the 2013 Lushan earthquake, the 2014 Ludian and Yutian earthquakes and every other earthquake that has occurred this year," he said

People can use their mobile phones to download an application that warns if an earthquake is about to occur. Once the system detects an earthquake, it will immediately send out alerts, Wang said.

"When an earthquake occurs, people located within 50 kilometers of the epicenter will be given an alert about 10 seconds prior to the quake. Even if you are not within the affected area, you can still receive notifications about the earthquake including its location, magnitude and time of occurrence," Wang added.

There have been academic studies that claim an alert sent out three seconds before an earthquake can reduce casualties by 14 percent. An alert 10 seconds prior can reduce casualties by 39 percent while an alert that comes 20 seconds before a disaster can reduce 63 percent of casualties.

Wang, however, said that many people are not familiar with the earthquake early warning system and therefore it is the government's responsibility to increase public awareness of these alerts.

"There are only 1 million people using the early warning services, less than one percent of the 650 million people in areas covered by our network," he explained.

By Agatha Yuen Source:Global Times  
21/10/14

Δευτέρα, Ιουλίου 07, 2014

Japan issues highest alert as typhoon Neoguri approaches Okinawa (one of the worst storms in decades)

Japan’s weather agency on Monday issued its highest alert as super typhoon Neoguri barreled toward the southern Okinawa island chain, warning of violent winds and towering waves from what could be one of the worst storms in decades.

The typhoon warning—the first since a new system began last August—means that the storm poses a threat to life and could inflict massive damage from gusts up to 270 kilometers per hour and torrential rain.

Waves could reach as high as 14 meters, the Japan Meteorological Agency said in a warning that was likely to stoke memories of Japan’s quake-tsunami disaster in 2011.

The alert was aimed at Miyako island in the center of the archipelago, with the massive storm expected to hit more populated areas of Okinawa on Tuesday.
“Please stay alert against violent winds and high waves,” the weather agency said in a brief statement that accompanied the emergency warning.
  • Earlier, officials warned residents in the area to stay indoors, while the biggest US Air Force base in the Pacific evacuated some of its aircraft.
The massive gusts and torrential rain will possibly reach mainland Japan by Wednesday, the weather agency said earlier Monday.

The typhoon was located some 600 kilometers south of Okinawa’s main island at 6 p.m. and was moving north northwest at 25 kilometers (16 miles) per hour.

“Please be vigilant, stay inside buildings and avoid working outside and making unnecessary trips,” a meteorological agency official said at a press briefing.

The official warned that the storm could pack “record level” winds and stir up high waves.

“It is likely to arrive in Okinawa Tuesday morning, generating violent gales and high waves… and, in some areas, violent rains,” he said. “Please be ready to evacuate.”

The meteorological agency forecast Neoguri would dump up to 80 millimeters of rain an hour on Okinawa as it pounds the archipelago.

The storm, which could affect an area with a 500-kilometer radius, was expected to be downgraded by the time it hit the Japanese mainland.

However, southern Kyushu region is already seeing heavy rains and officials warned of possible floods and landslides.

“I’m calling on the heads of municipalities not to hesitate in issuing evacuation warnings and don’t be afraid of being overcautious,” Keiji Furuya, the state minister in charge of disaster management, told a government meeting.

The U.S. Kadena Air Force base in Okinawa, the largest U.S. airbase in the Pacific, began evacuating some of its aircraft Sunday in preparation for the typhoon.

“I can’t stress enough how dangerous this typhoon may be when it hits Okinawa,” Commander James Hecker of the 18th Wing stationed in Kadena said in a statement posted online.

“This is the most powerful typhoon forecast to hit the island in 15 years; we expect damaging winds to arrive by early Tuesday morning.

“So be prepared!” Hecker said. “Tie down your outdoor items and work with your neighbors to help them.”

He added: “During the typhoon, do not go outside… Anything not tied down, even small items, could become deadly projectiles.”

Okinawa is regularly hit by typhoons but islanders were taking no chances, with fishermen on Miyako island bringing boats back to port and tying them down with ropes.

“It’s rare that we brace for a typhoon (as early as) July,” a Miyako fisherman said in television footage from public broadcaster NHK.
© 2014 AFP
[japantoday.com]
7/7/14

Τετάρτη, Ιουλίου 02, 2014

UN initiative strengthens drought monitoring and early warning in Asia-Pacific

UN, 1 July 2014 – Although drought is a “silent killer” in Asia and the Pacific, access to scientific information and knowledge remain a challenge for many countries in the region, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said today at a milestone forum on drought monitoring and early warning.
“Over the past three decades, it is estimated that droughts in the region have affected more than 1.3 billion people and caused damages of over $53 billion,” Shamika Sirimanne, Director of ESCAP’s Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, said today in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The meeting, organized by ESCAP and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Technology and Research, drew senior Government representatives, regional experts and UN agencies to exchange good practices and discuss strategies to reduce the impacts of agricultural drought and help save lives.
Ms. Sirimanne emphasized that efforts to reduce the impacts of drought require timely access to satellite-derived data. “Signs of drought can be observed from space long before they are visible to the human eye. Advances in space technology allow us to monitor the condition of crops, or the availability of water, from satellite images, and sharing this information through regional cooperation will save lives and protect livelihoods.”
However, despite significant progress in monitoring agricultural drought, access to satellite-derived data and knowledge for improving early warning remains a challenge for many countries in Asia and the Pacific.
In 2013, ESCAP launched the Regional Drought Mechanism – a platform providing timely and free satellite-based data; products; and training to regional drought-prone countries – to enhance the capacity of Governments for agricultural monitoring and early warning. When combined with information collected on the ground, the data leads to more effective detection of potential drought conditions.
“For example, satellite images can detect the onset of drought in specific areas or provinces, allowing time for local authorities to take immediate action, such as informing farmers to switch to more drought-resistant crops or implementing water management strategies,” Ms. Sirimanne elaborated.
The Sri Lankan Minister of Technology and Research, Patali Champika Ranawaka warned, “This year may witness the beginning of another El Niño period affecting Sri Lanka – possibly with serious implications for agriculture, one of the most important sectors for the country.”
“We have great hope that ESCAP’s Regional Drought Mechanism will help Sri Lanka address this issue by expanding our options for monitoring and responding to agricultural drought, in the meantime effectively harnessing the potential of space technology applications towards this end,” he added
Currently, the Mechanism is being piloted in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Its initial work in Mongolia and Sri Lanka – supported by two regional service nodes – demonstrates clearly the efficiency and effectiveness of the initiative.
Supported by China and India, the regional service nodes were established under the Regional Drought Mechanism to provide the pilot countries with satellite imagery, services, expert training and capacity development.
Though several of the pilot countries already experience severe drought conditions due to regular climate oscillations, including El Niño and La Niña, climate change projections indicate that drought is likely to become more frequent and severe in the future.
Given these challenges, forum participants recognized the importance of coordination and cooperation across the relevant ministries and initiatives in the region and looked at practical ways to improve early warning through enhanced integration with climate change trends, and new scientific modelling techniques.
Recommendations from the forum will provide guidance for strengthening the effectiveness of the Regional Cooperative Mechanism and will feed into the national disaster management plans of the pilot countries.
Participating countries benefit from: enhanced access to space-based data; capacity building in preparedness and response; strengthened institutional coordination and policies at the country level; and Regional and South-South cooperation and support networks.
[un.org]
1/7/14
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