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Taiwan to build undersea seismic station

TAIWAN meteorological authorities are planning to build an undersea seismic station, in order to improve the island's early warning system for earthquakes and tsunamis.

The seismic station would be located at about 2,000 to 3,000 meters below sea level and 45 kilometers off the northeast coast of Taiwan, local media reported.

Construction of the station, which could be put into service as early as 2011, would cost the island around 400 million New Taiwan Dollars (US$12.4 million).

The new seismic station would improve the monitoring capability of Taiwan's existing land-based seismic stations, and would give greater advance warning of disasters, said Kuo Kai-wen, head of Taiwan's seismology center.

The new seismic station could enable Taiwan to provide warnings for earthquakes 10 seconds earlier than at present, and 10 minutes earlier for tsunamis.

Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates, and is regularly shaken by earthquakes. On Nov. 5 alone, the island was jolted by two earthquakes measuring 5.9 and 5.4 on the Richter scale in a little more than two hours.


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