by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) June 3, 2012
A Japanese city is considering introducing a tsunami warning system which involves looking out for abnormal behaviour in animals and monitoring water levels in wells for signs of an imminent disaster.
The southwestern coastal city of Susaki is contemplating studying whether a rapid lowering of water in wells or chickens squawking loudly for no apparent reason are indicators of an impending earthquake and tsunami.
"They may not foretell a future disaster in a perfectly accurate manner, but the most important is to analyse such data thoroughly," said deputy mayor Yoshihito Myojin, according to a regional broadcaster late last month.
Over the years many tales about natural phenomena have been passed down as signs of an impending natural disaster in Japan, including abnormal movement of fish and cats fleeing their homes.
Experts warned in April that a 35-metre (115-foot) tsunami was in danger of hitting the Japanese coast in the wake of a massive earthquake as it revised its worst case scenario projections following last year's disaster.
The news came as Jiji Press reported that the Tokyo metropolitan government is mulling whether smartphones and car navigation systems can guide drivers during mass evacuations when the next big quake rocks the capital.
When the 9.0-magnitude tremor struck off northeastern Japan in March 2011, heavy traffic jams paralysed central areas of the capital, blocking fire engines and other emergency vehicles.
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Tsunami debris includes toxic chemicals
Toronto (UPI) May 28, 2012
Industrial chemicals from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan are reaching the West Coast of North America, and contamination is a risk, scientists say. "Finding one drum of paint thinner, or something you might find in your garage, is not hugely toxic, but if you find 50 of them all washed up on a rocky shore and then breaking and leaking, then you have some problems. If one tiny community ... read more
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