If research at the University of Naples and the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology in Rome proves to be accurate, folks who live in earthquake country may eventually have a few more seconds to respond to oncoming earthquakes. New research published later this month in Geophysical Research Letters shows that primary waves (P waves) from earthquakes contain enough information about its magnitude and destructive potential to alert potential victims about their impending situation about 15 seconds beforehand. While that may not seem like very much time to dive under a table, it may be enough for automated systems to shut off gas pipelines or to halt high-speed trains. This sounds very much like that Japanese system we spotted in October -- whichever one is deployed first, we'll be glad to see it.

[Via Slashdot]

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Italian scientists develop quake detection theory