Feasibility Study of Community Earthquake Warning System Proposed for Mbeya City and Surrounding Regions


The Mbeya city and its surrounding regions (Rukwa, Katavi and Njombe) in south western Tanzania, fall among the fast growing economical regions in Tanzania. It is also unfortunately under potential for seismic risk due to its proximity to the western and eastern junction of the East African Rift (EAR) Valley. Construction of Community Earthquake Early Warning (CEEW) system model based on community owned MEMS accelerometer sensors in being proposed for the region. To optimize the warning time function and as the process of planning and designing the community hosted seismic network, the paper presents the simulation of warning times that can be realized in this region based on the distribution of sensor stations in relation to the historical strong earthquakes and target sites. The distribution of sensor stations determines the detection and reporting time of the event, while location of earthquakes and position of target site determine the available warning time for the target to be protected. Testing the various sensor station configura- tions (regional, On-site and Hybrid) models of CEEWS by simulation of scenario earthquakes, the hybrid configuration that distributes sensor stations closer to the source and on target sites, was able to provide at least 5 seconds of warning times to various targets. This time has been demon- strated to be enough for shutting down hazardous industrial processes and for people to take cover at safer locations to reduce injuries.

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Manyele, A. and Mwambela, A. (2014) Feasibility Study of Community Earthquake Warning System Proposed for Mbeya City and Surrounding Regions. Open Journal of Earthquake Research, 3, 135-142. doi: 10.4236/ojer.2014.33013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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