Establishment of Monitoring of Waves on Land and Seafloor (Mowlas)

MOWLAS is an observation network for earthquake, tsunami and volcano that covers all land and sea in Japan (Highlighting Japan Vol.118 March 2018 Technologies for Disaster Mitigation). MOWLAS incorporates three different networks: 1) High Sensitivity Seismograph Network Japan (Hi-net) to record minor tremors undetected by humans; 2) Full Range Seismograph Network of Japan (F-net) for slow to fast motions; 3) Kyoshin Network (K-net) and Kiban Kyoshin Network (KiK-net) to record strong motion.

Further development includes Seafloor observation network for earthquakes and tsunamis along the Japan Trench (S-net). It will enable detection of earthquake in the sea and tsunami near epicenters and accurate transmission of information.

In the long run, MOWLAS is expected to enable people to receive early warning for disaster and give time before disaster occurrence for people safety, reduction of casualties, and protection of infrastructure, in the count of seconds.

“MOWLAS is an observation network that took us roughly twenty years to establish, starting with the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. That epicentral earthquake was caused by an active fault. It could happen anywhere in Japan at any time.”
~ Director-General Shin Aoi at NIED’s Network Center for Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcano

Real Time Risk Maps for Disaster Prevention

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) started to provide “Real-time Risk Maps” to help prevent water-related disasters, showing levels of risk of inundation, floods and landslides. The map also provides risk information, enabling people to evacuate from rapid increase of water in advance by using five types of colour.

Light blue : lowest risk level, requires people attention
Yellow :advisory risk level
Red : warning level
Light purple : risk level higher than warning level (forecasting a very dangerous situation)
Dark purple : highest risk (indicating the river already flooded, houses and roads surrounded by water, and that people lost a chance to evacuate)

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