A new undersea earthquake and tsunami monitoring system was officially launched on Thursday, to help the authorities issue early warnings to the public in case of seismic hazards.
In November last year, Taiwan completed the installation of the 735km undersea cable monitoring system along the nation’s east coast between Yilan County and Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) in Pingtung County, Taiwan proper’s southernmost point.
The system is expected to automatically issue a warning about 10 seconds before an earthquake occurs, or 20 to 30 minutes before a tsunami would hit the coast, said the the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), which is part of the team that initiated the project.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) praised the new system as being part of the government’s forward-looking infrastructure development plan, which was launched in 2017 and covers a wide range of projects to be implemented over the next three decades.
The system can help prevent loss of life and damage to property, she said.
As part of the system, nine underwater seismic detection stations are installed on the ocean floor at depths of up to 5,554m, and the cable between the stations reaches a maximum depth of 5,796m, the CWB said.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that another 800km of undersea cable to detect seismic activity would be laid in the future.
Construction on the expansion project, which would include undersea cables stretching from southern Taiwan to the seafloor near the Manila Trench, would start this year, and the system is expected to be operational in 2024, the CWB said, adding that frequent earthquakes originate near the trench.
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