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Undersea Fiber-Optic Cables Can Help Predict Earthquakes

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People stand in front of collapsed buildings following an earthquake in Kahramanmaras, Turkey.

Itzhak Lior of the Hebrew University Institute of Earth Sciences said optical fibers "can determine the intensity of earthquakes and their damage potential very quickly, adding critical seconds of warning for destructive earthquakes."

Credit: Ihlas News Agency/Reuters

An international team of researchers at Israel's Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU) found undersea fiber-optic cables can detect earthquakes occurring at sea 30 seconds earlier than standard methods.

HU's Itzhak Lior and colleagues analyzed quakes recorded by optical fibers on the seabed off the Greek, French, and Chilean coasts.

They ascertained the quakes' intensity and damage potential before their impact could be felt on land, "adding critical seconds of warning for destructive earthquakes," according to Lior.

He said the results show "that using existing fiber infrastructure can simplify and speed up the establishment and operation of earthquake warning systems, as well as improve warning times."

From The Jerusalem Post (Israel)
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