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An expert panel of the Meteorological Agency has proposed that a red and white checkered flag be used to swiftly convey tsunami warnings to people with hearing impairments at seaside resorts.

A test conducted at a beach in Yokohama found that a red and white checkered flag is easy to see for people with color vision deficiency, the panel said Thursday.

The panel said the flag is also effective for evacuating people from abroad as it has the same design as an international maritime signal flag warning of danger.

The shorter side of the flag should be at least 1 meter long so people can see it from a long distance away, the panel said.

The agency will revise related regulations around June to call for the use of flags with this design. Possible examples include the flag being waved by lifeguards and raised at tsunami evacuation towers.

“The flag will be effective not only for the hearing impaired, but a wide range of people at noisy beaches,” said Atsushi Tanaka, a professor at the University of Tokyo and head of the panel.

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