Japan’s Disaster Warning Systems Using Fiber Optic Cables

Japan’s biggest earthquake and monster tsunami had happened before more than one month from now. The country is recovering slowly from the natural disaster. It will take years to reconstruct the eastern parts of Japan that was destroyed by tsunami. Japan’s buildings are capable to withstand severe earthquakes, but the tsunami of that wildness was an unexpected natural disaster.

Throughout the eastern Japan, many of the fiber optic cables had been destroyed and the communication was being cut off. Japan’s national telecom operator NTT has been trying to restore the broken communication link to the devastated prefectures in Japan.

Seven segments of undersea data and telephone transmission cables were reported ot be damaged in the March 11 earthquake. NTT is supposed to repair those damaged cables by early May. It might be big task to repair the broken communication links, but once restored, it will play a major role in the reconstruction of the Eastern provinces of Japan.

NTT Communications, which is Japan’s biggest telecom operator largest Internet service provider will send ships to repair two damaged spots along its own Pacific Crossing-1 cable. The fiber-optic cable called PC-1, extends for 21,000 kilometers. It reaches two sites on the U.S. west coast and two on Japan’s east coast.

Including trans-pacific and Intra-Asian networks, there are 20 cable systems that land on Japan’s coast. All the damaged cables appeared to be ones that come to shore north of Tokyo, at the Ajigaura and Kitaibaraki landing stations. Most of the country’s cable landing stations are south of Tokyo, and networks located there don’t appear to have been affected. All the networks with landings north of Tokyo also have landings to the south and none of these systems had a complete outage.

The Japan landing north of Tokyo was near the epicenter of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Repair crews will also fix four pieces of the 22,000 kilometer Japan-U.S. cable, one trouble spot on the 30,000-kilometer China-U.S. cable and two along the APCN2, a 19,000-kilometer line that links China, Taiwan, South Korea and much of Southeast Asia. All three are optical cables that can transmit voice and data. The damaged segments of the cables each of which is owned by an international consortium or carriers are off Japan’s east coast.

Even though NTT does not estimate the extent of damage to the cables it thinks all the segments should be fixed within a month. NTT Communications had started backup cables routes to provide normal services. NTT thinks that there is no impact on overseas data communication or Internet services.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency, JMA had the nationwide earthquake warning system. Meteorological agency use an extensive the fiber optic cable system to warn people of an imminent tsunami. The time people get to keep away themselves from the coming disaster is really small and with in minutes, everything will be swallowed by tsunami. Natural disaster warning systems using fiber optic cables must have saved many people.


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