Technology Against Disaster, How Can We Fight Against Earthquakes? The recent earthquakes we have experienced and the communication problems we have faced after these earthquakes have caused us to rethink how we can benefit from technology in the fight against such disasters.
With the fact that our world is located on fault lines and the awareness that we are an earthquake country, we need to be prepared for the next disasters by taking lessons from what is happening. In this preparation process, it is useful to take the necessary measures by analyzing the developing technologies correctly and taking advantage of them.
Technology Against Disaster! When will it be possible to predict earthquakes in advance?
One of the most frequently asked questions about earthquakes is whether earthquakes can be predicted in advance. Until now, unfortunately, we have always heard negative statements on this subject. To make a truly useful earthquake prediction, you need to know three things: where the earthquake will happen, when it will happen, and its magnitude.
A few days after the recent earthquakes, we had the opportunity to meet with a technology doyen who has carried out important work in the global arena in the world of technology, and at the World IoT Congress held in Barcelona before the earthquake; He shared with me that they have held discussions on earthquake prediction systems with experts from different parts of the world and that critical studies in this field have begun to be implemented.
Technology Against Disaster! Forecast of major EarthQuake!
However, just as the forecast of major weather events has become highly accurate over the years, it is still a long way to go to arrive at similar forecasts for earthquakes. However, first of all, developments in the field of artificial intelligence, developments in sensor technology with IoT and satellite technologies give hope that systems that can make earthquake predictions possible have begun to develop and that the sensitivity of these predictions will increase in the future.
The main reason why we have not made significant progress in forecasts so far is that the studies are not constructed interdisciplinarily and progress with uniform data types. Earthquake predictions need to be based on a deep learning model, one of the most challenging areas of artificial intelligence, which includes artificial neural networks that contain one or more hidden layers. However, as it is known, artificial intelligence needs as many and trained data sets as possible in order to work efficiently and logical.
Fault lines trigger
Considering that large fault lines trigger earthquakes at long intervals, it is necessary to be aware that we do not have enough data sets to lead us to earthquake predictions. To compensate for this, some universities have begun to combine simulated datasets with real data sets, including historical data from earthquake-producing faults.
The studies, called lab-driven earthquakes, are based on gaining insight into how earthquakes are triggered in the laboratory environment and the spread of the aftershocks that follow, and these studies are then used to develop predictive analyses for earthquakes.
Realize earthquake predictions
It is also necessary to make use of different data sets in order to realize earthquake predictions more accurately. Along these lines, the researchers have begun to study a wide range of data besides seismic signals, from the changing behavior of animals to electrical disturbances in the atmosphere (Chinese scientists analyze fluctuations in electrically charged particles in the Earth’s ionosphere in the days leading up to the earthquakes. claims to be able to predict 48 hours in advance with accuracy).
In Japan, changes in water vapor above earthquake zones are being studied. Tests show that the predictions made in line with these studies are 70 percent accurate, but the results are currently at a level that indicates that an earthquake may occur at a certain point in just one month. So there’s still a long way to go…
Systems that signal the impending earthquake are being used in various parts of Europe and Japan. These systems can warn up to 10 to 15 seconds before the earthquake occurs. So people can at least take actions that can protect themselves and ensure their safety. However, trains are stopped, and facilities such as nuclear power plants are automatically shut down.
Artificial intelligence also comes to the fore in the prediction of aftershocks…
The AI’s ability to detect signals that people miss, can also help better predict aftershocks after a major earthquake, helping to keep rescue workers and earthquake victims safe.
One area where artificial intelligence can play an important role is in organizing the relief and rescue efforts required immediately after an earthquake. In order to send rescue teams where they are most needed, images from satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are analyzed and the most priority areas are identified. The images help aid agencies identify the most affected areas and the state of the infrastructure critical to ensure the effective delivery of aid.
In addition, by assessing the damages in the buildings, potentially dangerous structures can be identified and more coordinated liquidation can be achieved. Drones or robots can also support search and rescue efforts in areas where people are not allowed to enter, while the damage after an earthquake can be investigated with drones. In addition, drones can deliver supplies to earthquake victims, including food, water, medicine and other basic supplies.
Technology Against Disaster! To use Drones
At night, in areas where there is a power outage and a lack of generators, drones are also used for lighting purposes, ensuring that rescue efforts continue completely. Advances in robotic processes are taking technology from predictable areas, such as production lines, to disaster areas. Robots reduce the risk to the life of the rescue team in the debris areas and increase the chances of rescue for those trapped under the debris.
After the earthquakes, we have again understood how important technology is especially in rescue efforts, support and aid processes and that it should be used especially in the fight against such natural disasters.
So how are different technologies used in the fight against earthquakes?
- The seismic insulator, a technology developed to prevent the collapse of buildings, reduces the communication between the structure and the ground during an earthquake, minimizing the shaking of the structure.
- Radar systems or infrared underground imaging systems detect the movements of people trapped under the rubble and display them on the rescue team’s screen. In addition, a technology developed by NASA called FINDER detects the slightest body movements remotely and supports aid teams. Using microwave radar sensors, the FINDER can be used to detect survivors under debris from their heartbeat or breathing, even at considerable distances.
- Equipment such as thermal cameras and underground imaging is widely used in earthquake zones to locate people who are not directly in the rescuer’s field of vision. Since the heat of a human body can heat up the rubble around them, survivors can be detected with such devices.
Technology Against Disaster! Support from Software
- The crypto community can be instrumental in raising millions of dollars very quickly, and blockchain-based platforms provide the infrastructure for aid to reach those in need safely.
- In the aftermath of recent earthquakes, we have also observed that it is very quickly developing open source crisis relief websites and platforms under the leadership of volunteer developers and young application developers. These efforts include the creation of heat maps for rescue services, and the identification of survivors with information gleaned from calls for help; information about blood donation, connections with temporary accommodation providers and food and clothing distributors; It includes lists of those in need of urgent humanitarian or medical assistance, and apps that match those who are willing to help those in need.
- Real-time technology enables volunteers and emergency responders to quickly communicate with medical professionals and other professional teams that can deliver life-saving solutions. This technology, used by the Israeli rescue team, combines location services, live video chat and other communication systems into a single dashboard in the call center, providing immediate assistance to rescue teams.
- The fact that the project has been worked on 15 years ago is still needed has once again shown itself with the inability of operators to provide service as a result of damage to base stations in certain regions. In such moments of disaster, it has become clear that alternative, reliable communication platforms should also be used for uninterrupted communication between search and rescue and public authorities.
The importance of technology in the long term in the fight against disasters
The evolving metaverse environment can offer an ideal environment for simulating the impact of earthquakes and educating individuals on how to respond to them. We need to think about how we can take advantage of many different technologies in this area.
In this period when the sensitivity of the whole society against earthquakes and natural disasters is increasing, it is useful for large institutions and business people to consider investing in earthquake fighting technologies and laboratories with universities… After all, we are responsible for our future…