The nation’s ability to more quickly receive notice of undersea earthquakes could be improved after the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) completes the installation of the Marine Cable Hosted Observatory (MACHO) in June this year, the bureau said.
The installation of the system is set to begin on Saturday, when a 45km cable will be laid from a land station in Toucheng (頭城), Yilan County, out to sea.
Lu Pei-ling (呂佩玲), deputy director of the bureau’s seismology center, said the observatory may not give earthquake warnings as fast as systems in Japan and Europe because their cables reach out hundreds of kilometers away from the coast.
“However, without taking this step, what we have on undersea earthquakes will always be zero,” Lu said.
The MACHO system is designed by NEC Corp, the bureau said, adding that the Tokyo-based electric company will be in charge of laying the cables on Saturday.
The bureau said that 70 percent of the nation’s earthquakes happen at the sea off the east coast. While more than 100 earthquake observatories have been built to detect temblors on land, the nation has none at sea to monitor earthquakes beneath the ocean floor, the bureau said.
The bureau added that the system would reduce the time needed to issue submarine earthquake reports by between 10 seconds and 12 seconds, and it would also enhance the accuracy of the report.
Meanwhile, it would help the nation establish a tsunami pre-warning system and monitor submarine volcanic movements near Guishan Island (龜山島), off the coast of Yilan County.
Taiwan is one of the few countries to be equipped with such a system, the bureau said.
According to the bureau, -Japan has laid eight submarine cables off the coast of its eastern territories and is building a new system titled “Dense Oceanfloor Network System for Earthquakes and Tsunamis.”
Both Canada and the US have built a similar system called -NEPTUNE on the west coast to monitor movements in the subduction zones and plates.
The EU is also launching a project that deploys approximately 5,000km of fiber optic submarine cables linking the undersea observatories to the land. Due to its limited budget, the bureau can only deploy the cables to a length of 45km.
Aside from the Toucheng station, Lu said the bureau is planning another undersea earthquake observatory off the coast of Chenggong (成功) in Taitung County.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said