The Meteorological Agency has added Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore to its list of nations to which it provides tsunami warnings in the event of a major earthquake in the Northwestern Pacific, agency officials said Tuesday.

Functioning as the tsunami warning center for the Northwest Pacific, the agency already has Russia, South Korea, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea on the list.

Tasked with predicting when tsunamis would hit coasts after a quake of magnitude 6.5 or bigger, it aims to convey the forecasts on 65 coastal points of the 10 countries within 20 to 30 minutes from the time of an earthquake.

It makes the predictions based on seismic data from instruments in Nagano Prefecture and overseas, and conveys the information to the meteorological and disaster prevention agencies of other countries.

The center issued information five times that there was no tsunami threat from quakes off Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and other places since it was set up in March last year.

The four countries were added to meet a request made last year at an international conference on tsunami warning systems.

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