New system predicts potential tsunami damage

New system predicts potential tsunami damage

Japanese researchers and engineers have developed a system that issues predictions about tsunami 15 to 30 minutes after an earthquake occurs.

Tohoku University, electronics maker NEC, and 2 other Japanese companies developed the system that uses supercomputers to analyze earthquake data from the Meteorological Agency. It can predict the arrival time and location of tsunami, and also forecast the height of the waves.

Areas that could be submerged are shown on a map, as well as places where buildings could be damaged.

Tohoku University and the 3 firms established a venture company, RTi-cast, in Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture this month.

RTi-cast says subscribers can receive its predictions 15 minutes to 30 minutes after an earthquake hits.

Businesses and medical institutions will be able to use the service from next April. RTi-cast also plans to offer it to local governments.

The firm's president, Yoichi Murashima, says damage could not be assessed quickly after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He says he hopes the new service will help to mitigate the impact of disasters.