NEC Corporation announced the delivery of a submarine cable seismic and tsunami observation system to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau (CWB) under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. This project is based on a contract between NEC Taiwan and the CWB.

The CWB has been working to improve the early warning capability for earthquakes and tsunami off the eastern coast of Taiwan since the establishment of the Marine Cable Hosted Observatory (MACHO) project in 2007.

This new system is mainly intended for observation of earthquakes and tsunami in the area ranging from the offshore coast of Yilan in eastern Taiwan to Fangshan in Pingtung County. The submarine cable measures 620 kilometers and reaches a depth of 5,800 meters. All products, including optical submarine cables, submarine observation units, and optical submarine repeaters, which constitute the system, were manufactured and assembled at NEC factories in Japan.

According to the CWB, when an earthquake occurs in the eastern sea area of Taiwan this new system can provide an emergency warning more than 10 seconds before the actual tremor is felt on land. Moreover, a warning can be issued 20 to 30 minutes before a tsunami reaches the coastal area. As a result, this system will contribute to the enhancement of disaster prevention and mitigation capabilities. For example, public transportation systems, including MRTs (Mass Rapid Transit) and HSRs (High Speed Rail) can quickly decelerate in the event of an earthquake.

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Atsushi Kuwahara, General Manager, Submarine Network Division, NEC Corporation, said, "It is a great honor that the NEC Group can use its many years of experience in optical submarine cable communication technology and submarine observation technology to help prevent disasters and ensure safety for the residents and government of Taiwan. Going forward, we will continue to provide technology and solutions that contribute to the well-being of our communities."

Kuo-Chang Chen, Director, Seismology Center, Central Weather Bureau, said, "The Central Weather Bureau promotes the provision of breaking news on earthquake information that helps to ensure the safety of local residents. NEC's optical transmission equipment and submarine cables used around the world enable 24-hour real-time transmission of digital information from submarine observation equipment to onshore monitoring stations, thereby strengthening the monitoring of earthquake and tsunami activities. This new system will help Taiwan to take a leading position in the understanding of trends in the earthquake and tsunami observation field."

NEC has been a leading supplier of submarine cable systems for more than 50 years, and has built more than 300,000 km of cable, spanning the earth nearly 8 times. NEC is well-established as a reliable partner in the submarine cable field as a system integrator that provides all aspects of submarine cable operations, including the production of optical submarine repeaters and optical submarine cables, as well as coordinating ocean surveys and route designs, cable installation, training and delivery testing. The company is particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, where NEC subsidiary OCC Corporation is capable of producing submarine optical cables that can withstand water pressure from 8,000 meters beneath the sea.