A powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck central Japan on New Year’s Day, claiming the lives of at least 30 individuals. The quake caused building collapses, road destruction, widespread power outages.

Euthymios Lekkas, a Professor of Geology and Natural Disaster Management, spoke to “Society Hour MEGA” regarding the 7.6 magnitude quake.
Initially, he mentioned that the Japanese are familiar with frequent seismic activity and that earthquake drills are conducted in schools and services 2 to 3 times yearly throughout the country.
Regarding the message “1 Minute Before the Earthquake”

“In Greece, we still need work on earthquake information dissemination. The message did not come a short time before the earthquake in Japan. An earthquake gives a warning when it occurs. Because seismic waves travel at 2-2.5 kilometers per second, and electronic signals travel at 300,000 kilometers per second, when we are at a distance and an earthquake happens, the electronic signal arrives first, and then the earthquake waves. When we are at close distances of 10-20 kilometers, the earthquake and the message come simultaneously, which doesn’t facilitate us. But when we are at distances of 30, 40, 100 kilometers, then the electronic signal (‘112’) comes first, and afterward, we perceive the tremor,” Mr. Lekkas stressed.

Regarding the application of the “message” in Greece he emphasized, “If there’s an earthquake in Atalanta, it’s not certain that we have enough time to send the message because the distance isn’t very long. We need some time to process the signals, critical seconds, around 10-15 seconds, and then the signal disappears. If the signal manages to arrive first and we perceive it, then we can take basic protection measures. When it’s more than 50 kilometers away, we are given time to do some basic things and protect ourselves. We issue the command, but huge legal responsibilities arise when a signal goes off, and there’s no earthquake.”

Concluding the professor stated that ensuring stable education systems and infrastructure is vital. “We’re confident in our seismic reinforcement efforts and are enforcing mandatory pre-seismic inspections in all public buildings” Mr. Lekkas said.