Day_157: Disaster Warning (1)

I will update a column of the NIED e-mail magazine which I wrote a long time ago because the content is not faded with time. (I will do this step by step in Japanese and English) I will also add comments to update the situation.

Sorry, now I am revising this post because of the difficulties of the translation. This post will be revised again. Thank you.

Published May 6, 2010
NIED-DIL e-mail magazine: Disaster Warning (1)

■ Disaster Warning (1) ■

In February 2008, a survey provided an opportunity to visit the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii. In a study, I interviewed the director of the PTWC, and the first thing that caught my attention was the role of the media. The director told me that a public tsunami evacuation alert required three hours before the event, which was too time-sensitive, but the media was an advantage to do this. However, for the government organization, there were various restrictions, such as warnings in an international framework. I remembered the Chilean Navy’s disaster response to the damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Chile in February this year.

Next, I was interested in science, technology, and data that are the basis of the alarm decision. I think that normal (flood etc.) warnings will be judged based on current and past data, but especially for tsunami warnings, there were errors in the data of the original earthquake and the tide gauge. To do judge, we should know the 99.99 percent could be the error. The fact that the past data is not very useful because the devices to figure out the data are changing day by day, making it difficult to rely on it.

From these facts, it was generally noticed that the disaster warning was based on the combination of the progress of science, technology and the competence of the person in charge. The actual warning also relies on the institution belonging to it. For example, it was also needed to add variables such as the recipient of the alert, the psychology of the local people, social situation, and various systems.

Issued May 6, 2010 No. 4


Day_55 : Tsunami Surveys in Hawaii

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