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China Helps Cuba Modernize Quake Warning System

Chinese experts in Cuba have concluded the assembly and launch of a new earthquake warning system that helps strengthen Cuba's seismological service, the National Center for Seismological Research (CENAIS) said Thursday.

Equipment used for the new warning system includes highly sensitive seismometers, accelerometers, radio facilities for voice communication and mobile stations for earthquake engineering studies, CENAIS director O'Leary Gonzalez Matos said.

The work facilitates the upgrading of broadband stations capable of monitoring the occurrence of earthquakes of any magnitude in Cuba or anywhere else in the world, Gonzalez Matos said during the Fourth Cuban Convention of Earth Sciences, Geosciences 2011 in Havana.

The purpose is "to have modern technology to provide faster and better information before the occurrence of earthquakes," he said.

The renewal of the screening and monitoring services ensures that alert signals can be transmitted in real time through an interconnectivity system from the seismic stations assisting the CENAIS data processing center.

As an example of the sensitivity of the new high-tech system, seismic waves from last month's earthquake in Japan were recorded by the Cuban network over six consecutive hours, he said. The new Chinese equipment that arrived in Cuba in May 2010 also facilitates the exchange of information with regional networks and enhances fundamental seismological research, including that related to the planet's internal structure in different places of the world, Gonzalez Matos said.

CENAIS, the governing body of Cuba's seismological research, is responsible for monitoring seismic activities across the island.

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