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Radars to check tsunamis before they hit the coast

October 18, 2012



Radars installed off Wakayama to observe tsunami



Japanese researchers have erected large radar systems in the sea off Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan, in a bid to observe tsunami at an early stage.

A research group led by Japan's land ministry and Kansai University developed the radars based on aviation control tower technology. The group on Thursday briefed local government officials on the system.

Installed 60 kilometers off the coast of Mihama Town, the radars are designed to observe the height and speed of tsunami before the wave hits the coast.

Tsunami measuring up to 18 meters high are predicted to strike Mihama Town in the event of a large earthquake in the Nankai Trough off Japan's Pacific coast.

Kansai University Professor Tomoyuki Takahashi says marine observation using the radar will eventually yield more accurate tsunami predictions.

The massive devastation caused by the huge tsunami that hit northeastern Japan last year has been blamed on overly optimistic predictions released before tsunami hit the coast.

The group will refine the radar over the next 2 years to improve its accuracy, before putting it to practical use.

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