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Taiwan Scientist Develops Earthquake Alarm

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posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 03:20 PM
The article:

A Taiwanese scientist has developed an earthquake alarm that could give people a crucial 15-second warning in case of a tremor, one of his team said Wednesday.

The gadget, about one-third of the size of a laptop, can be linked to computers and also be used to halt lifts in buildings when quakes strike.

The system relies on seismic waves, which move vertically as well as horizontally. The device detects and analyses these vertical waves, which travel faster and are less violent than horizontal waves.

"The device has been put to a series of tests," said an assistant to Wu Yih-min, a professor at National Taiwan University's Department of Geosciences.

The few seconds extra would give people precious time to seek shelter in the case of potentially fatal quakes, according to Wu's team.

Wu expects the device to retail for around 300 US dollars once the prototype has completed a series of tests in the coming two years.

Well, if this thing pans out $300 and fifteen seconds could actually save a lot of lives in earthquake prone regions.

One possible problem that I can see right off the bat is how to avoid false alarms. If you've ever been next to a passing truck or construction site in a major city some of those can trigger significant tremors.

But if they can iron these kinds of elements out it looks like a useful invention.

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 03:39 PM
just enough time to grab a sandwich and jump out the window.

not so good in a highrise apartment..

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 03:42 PM
This is actually really awesome. Work and work and work and all you get is fifteen seconds worth of a warning from your fancy research. It's worth it though.

It is SOMETHING. It beats the HECK out of my earthquake alarm.

'AHHHHH The Earth is QUAKING!'

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 03:49 PM
Well, right off the bat, I see problems with this. What they are doing is using P-waves to warn for the more damaging S-waves. At a distance that might be slightly effective, but anywhere near the epicenter and it's pretty much useless because the two sets of waves arrive very close to each other.

But in a situation where an ocean quake hits far out to sea near Japan, for example, it could be useful, and give people just enough time to get out of their buildings.

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by TrueAmerican

Any warning is better than no warning. You also have to see it as a step in the direction of better detection systems, giving people even more time to prepare.

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 04:17 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts

Well best would be if they improved quake predictions to begin with. BEFORE they happen. I think the stress meters they have been installing could go a long way towards that end.

posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 06:41 PM
Zhang heng did it in 138ad,

Zhang Heng

This guy was amazing, ancient chinas leonardo/archimedes/newton all rolled into 1

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