Japan planning world’s first nationwide earthquake warning system – International Herald Tribune
It’s still beyond the reach of science to predict exactly when an earthquake will strike, but Japan will soon get the next-best thing — televised warnings that come before the shaking starts.
In an ambitious attempt at protecting large populations from seismic disaster, Japan’s Meteorological Agency and national broadcaster are teaming up to alert the public of earthquakes as much as 30 seconds before they hit, or at least before they can bring their full force down on populated areas.
The system — the first of its kind in the world — cannot actually predict quakes, but officials say it can give people enough time to get away from windows that could shatter, or turn off ovens and prevent fires from razing homes.
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