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|CALL FOR REVIEW OF ANTI-QUAKE MEASURES|
A panel of experts is calling for the Japanese government to review its current measures to prepare for a mega-quake along the country's Pacific coast. The experts say it's difficult to accurately predict earthquakes.
Seismologists have long predicted a giant quake could strike an area in Tokai, central Japan. The government's current preparations for a Tokai quake are based on the assumption that imminent quakes can be predicted.
When signs of a mega-quake are detected, the government plans to issue an alert. Railway and road traffic would be regulated, and businesses and schools would be shut down. But experts on a government panel say it's impossible to predict a quake accurately enough to declare such an alert, based on current understanding of the phenomena.
However, they give examples of factors that increase the risk for mega-quakes. They include a change in groundwater levels and movement of tectonic plates, and historically, large quakes often precede mega-quakes. The experts are proposing measures to evacuate residents early in areas where tsunami could quickly reach the shore.