Chapter 5. Earthquake Early Warning Systems: A Review with Applications in Greece


Charilaos A. Maniatakis¹,²,³, Athanasia E. Zacharenaki¹,⁴, Christos Moraitis² and Georgios E. Stavroulakis⁵,²
¹School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
²International Hellenic University & Fire Brigade of Greece, Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Program “Analysis and Management of Anthropogenic and Natural Disasters”
³Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company, Hersonissos Municipality, Crete, Greece
⁴Municipal Water Supply and Sewerage Company of Minoa Pediada, Crete,Greece
⁵School of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete, Crete, Greece

Part of the book: The Challenges of Disaster Planning, Management, and Resilience


Catastrophic earthquakes have always been a major threat affecting the world’s population and economy with the most disastrous consequences in urban areas. In order to tackle this phenomenon, scientists from the mid-19th century showed interest in finding ways to inform about a forthcoming earthquake event but only after 1960 did it find application with the evolution of technology. As a result of this effort came the development of the Earthquake Early Warning System (EEWS) as a new method for seismic risk mitigation. This system has evolved to detect earthquake parameters such as hypocenter, magnitude and time while disseminating alarm signals to the sites affected by the earthquake for societies to take the necessary action. Its function is based on the fact that information travels faster than seismic waves and that S-waves travel faster than P-waves in an earthquake signal. Nowadays, EEWS are operational in several countries including Mexico and Japan, while action has been taken to be implemented in more countries. EEWS are becoming a significant tool for the reduction of seismic risk, despite its current restrictions, and to help prevent loss of human lives and resources, reducing this way the economic loss. In this paper EEWS are discussed and their application in Greece is presented to give an insight to state-of-the-art methodology. Design concepts, cost of operation and reliability limitations are examined while a possible improvement of their efficiency with the use of artificial intelligence and neural networks is briefly discussed.

Keywords: Earthquake Early Warning Systems (EEWS), seismic waves, neural networks, state-of-the-art


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