Performance of a low-cost earthquake early warning system (P-Alert) during the 2016 ML 6.4 Meinong (Taiwan) earthquake

Yih Min Wu, Wen Tzong Liang, Himanshu Mittal, Wei An Chao, Cheng Horng Lin, Bor Shouh Huang, Che Min Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


On 5 February 2016, a moderate earthquake occurred in southwestern Taiwan with ML 6.4 and a focal depth of 16.7 km. This earthquake caused damage to a few buildings and 117 casualties. A low-cost earthquake early warning (EEW) system (P-alert) is in operation for the purpose of EEWand for providing near-real-time shake maps. During this event, a detailed shaking map was generated by the P-alert system within 2 min after the earthquake occurrence, and the high shaking regions strongly correlated with the locations in which the damage and casualties occurred. In the field, individual P-alert devices also serve as onsite EEW systems using P-wave information. The individual P-alert provided a 4-8 s lead time before the arrival of violent shaking in the damaged regions. For regional EEW, both the Central Weather Bureau (CWB, official agency) and the P-alert system responded very well. Currently, regional warnings in Taiwan are only provided to cities at epicentral distances of 50 km or more by the CWB. For cities within a 50-km epicentral distance, the P-alert system could be useful for providing onsite EEW. The performance of the P-alert network during this earthquake proves the efficiency of this real-time, low-cost network in terms of early warning (regional and onsite), near-realtime shake maps, rapid reports, and strong-motion data for research purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1059
Number of pages10
JournalSeismological Research Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics


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