All Japan newsese authorities have decided to simplify the tsunami warning system, to make it easier to understand so that people would react faster and in connection to the actual risks.
The Meteorological Agency said it would stop estimating the height of upcoming tsunami waves in the case of earthquakes more powerful than magnitude 8. It would use instead phrases like “A huge tsunami is coming”.
At three minutes after the Great East All Japan news Earthquake from March 2011, the agency said the magnitude was 7.9 and that waves of six meters in Miyagi Prefecture and three meters in Iwate and Fukushima prefectures were expected.
The quake was however magnitude 9, while the waves reached 10 meters and even higher.
The tsunami height forecasts will be simplified from eight to only five categories: one meter, three meters, five meters, 10 meters and more than 10 meters.
The actual development of the technology makes it very difficult to determine the exact level of an earthquake of over 8 in less than three minutes, the agency explained. The new system could be put in place before the end of the year.