Those clever Japanese have done it again – whilst seismologists look in increasingly unlikely places for a method of reliably predicting earthquakes, they’ve produced a little box which provides a timely warning of impending doom:
A broadband and communications provider serving parts of the Tokyo area, will offer an earthquake advance warning sytem to subscribers beginning October 1, 2007. The “Urgent Earthquake News Flash”, issued from Japan’s Meteorological Agency, will be transmitted to specially installed terminals that use fixed-line phone lines.
The system forecasts the quake arrival time and the seismic intensity of the tremor, 10 seconds in advance, 24/7.
A voice will automatically announce, in Japanese, “The earthquake of four in the seismic intensity will come in ten seconds. 10-9-8 etc.”
Imagine the peace of mind this device will provide for everyone living on the 27th floor of a skyscraper – rather than sitting around ignorance as the deadly seismic waves race towards Tokyo, they will now have a whole ten seconds to
panic get to a place of safety before the quake hits. And all for the bargain price of 23,000 yen (about ¬£100, or $200).
Thanks to Mo for bringing this exciting news to my attention (and for making me choke on my coffee).