New system figures quake damage fast

JIJI

The National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention says it has developed a near real-time earthquake damage estimate system.

In test operations over the past three years, the system provided estimates with a high degree of precision within five minutes, institute officials said. Their results will be announced Friday in Chiba at a meeting of the Japan Geoscience Union.

Fast and reliable rough estimates could help rescue operations, said Shin Aoki, head of the institute’s Earthquake and Volcano Data Center.

The system, called J-RISQ, provides estimates of the number of affected people and damaged or destroyed buildings in the earthquake area using a database with daytime and nighttime populations as well as the numbers, types and quake-resistance of buildings.