Japan to adopt quake-warning system

June 9, 2006 at 6:47 AM
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TOKYO, June 9 (UPI) -- Japan will adopt an earthquake alert system in August that will give railways, hospitals and other business operators time to take precautions.

Japan Meteorological Agency officials said that the system detects the faster-traveling primary earthquake wave and immediately issues a warning for the slower and more dangerous secondary wave. The difference in time should enable conductors to slow trains and allow doctors to take safety measures during surgery, the Asahi Shimbun reported Friday.

The agency initially will provide the information to about 300 businesses, including railway companies, hospitals, factories and construction companies after the system starts operating Aug. 1 because there are the possibilities that such information could disrupt society.

The newspaper said the government plans to provide the information to the general public next spring over radio and television broadcasts.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency is also planning a flash warning system that uses a satellite to instantly relay disaster-prevention information across the nation through a radio network in each municipality, the newspaper reported.

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