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How can earthquake and tsunami warning systems be improved?

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they cant. Earthquakes and Tsunamis are unpredictable.

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They can't really. How to deal with it spot on and handle yourself instead of running the opposite direction screaming. Training & Education by the local EMS and police/firefighters. There was not much time for this one, a few minutes at best. Right- unpredictable. One thing I noticed with some video footage... young Japanese salarymen were laughing in some Tokyo earthquake videos, pretty cheeky and cocky if you ask me. I near pi**** myself in fear.

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Last night I was watching NHK and the earthquake warning system was triggered. But it came only about 5-10 seconds before the aftershock struck.

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Ahhh, to put things into perspectives Japan is the ONLY nation that have this system rigged through out the nation in such a very tight web. If an earthquake of same magnitude were to hit the west coast people would not have NO warning whatsoever.

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"....Japan is the ONLY nation that have this system rigged through out the nation in such a very tight web."

The technological upgrade to the monitoring system is a lasting legacy of PM Koizumi and his Cabinet.

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They will only be improved the day scientists can predict earthquakes in advance. The long range tsunami warnings are sufficient, but it was less than ten minutes before the waves hit Sendai. What are they gonna do in ten minutes?

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Can it? Right after Okinawa had the strong quake last year, my phone started 'screaming' with a sound I never heard before. When I looked at it said "Okinawa Honto-Jishin Hassei shimashita"....Thanks for letting me know what that was....AFTER the fact.

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I get the alerts on my phone too, but yeah, most of them come either 5 seconds before or like an hour later, which is of no use to me. Heaven forbid it be another serious one... But I don't know how they'd predict that. It's not like the weather, which can be completely unpredictable all by itself.

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What are they gonna do in ten minutes?

Run for the hills as fast as you can as they are trained to do in a situation like that and pray that the tides will not come before they reach for safe grounds.

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People just need to listen to the sirens. And when they hear them don`t sit around watching TV. Get out!

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You'd better make sure you're near the foot of a hill to start with. Once the wave hits the land, it's faster than an Olympic sprinter.

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Tether small wild animals all along the coast and in big cities and watch their behaviour.

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I have been thinking an optical fibre system in every house when local seismic activity is detected would be good.. Even better if it could be coupled to a system that automatically shuts off gas pipes. Inconvenient sure.. Worth it? I think so. Wifi would be probably better. My school uses a mass dialling phone alert system to disseminate info. Very cool idea.

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Gas Pipes already shut down in case of a quake in Japan.

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Do they? Good to know.

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We know more about space than we do some things on our own planet.

I don't know whether it's possible to predict earthquakes, but I'm sure there's a long way to go in learning about them. I would suggest a full-time, dedicated, well-paid, cream-of-the-crop scientist team whose job it is to study earthquakes and their prediction, and only this.

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Do they? Good to know.

If you look at your gas meter, you'll see a button on the side. It works kind of like a circuit breaker. Mine has only ever gone if the quake is over 6.5 or so. You'll hear a little "pop" sound when it does - that cuts off all the gas flow.

IIRC, to reset it after it goes, you need to push it in and hold it for about 5 seconds. Usually it's a good idea to wait an hour or so before you reset it, to make sure there's no gas leaks in the area.

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for tsunami's, every coastal town or city should have at least 1 light house every 50-80 yards apart, warning citizen that a tsunami is coming. using either color light or sound. they could install a 3 stage 60 foot gate system. that prevents water from entering further inland.

early alert for earthquakes are nearly impossible. but, that person staring at the graph paper should have a nation wide panic bottom. telling either the entire nation or the expected areas of concern to prepare for the worst. a bottom to tell person if it is a 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0-30.0...etc. quake. every bit of Japan should consider of using solar power...

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One sound for a practice drill that has been announced or scheduled and another sound for the real event. Run the real siren at noon for 10 seconds each month to test it. The people running from the parks or walking on the streets at the time the wave hit as seen on TV shows that people became conditioned to the sirens and probably thought, "Just another drill."

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yeah, but those people are dead now. those people who did otherwise, ran.

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