Could undersea cables improve tsunami response times?

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Having prior knowledge of natural disasters can save lives. Someone who has been given instructions to find shelter during an earthquake is better off than someone who has no prior knowledge of the same event – ​​and the use of technology to detect disasters before they happen. it’s not too late is vitally important. There is a wide variety of equipment used to anticipate earthquakes, including some telephones.

Now, there is mounting evidence that a similar means of detecting underwater earthquakes – such as those that can lead to tsunamis – already exists without the need to install new equipment. It has to do with the cables that criss-cross the world and maintain internet connectivity.

In a new article on the new yorker, Jeffrey Marlow explores the evidence that we may well have a complete tsunami warning system ready to go. It focuses on a discovery made in 2016 by scientist Giuseppe Marra, who discovered that earthquakes can affect fiber optic cables in minute ways – which, if monitored, could provide advance warning of a disaster.

Marra described the use of submarine cables for this purpose as “a possible game-changer”.

As the article points out, there are logistical hurdles to see if this approach is feasible. But some experiments Marra and his colleagues have done with Google Cable Access have shown promising results, which is good news for anyone concerned about disaster prevention.


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