BEIJING: China plans to install tsunami detection buoys in the disputed South China Sea and waters east of the Ryukyu Trench and Taiwan Island to firm up its hold on the disputed region.
They will be linked to international tsunami warning networks, providing early warnings for China’s east and south coasts and nearby countries, said Yuan Ye, director of the tsunami warning centre of the State Oceanic Administration.
Some buoys have been installed west of the Manila Trench, which has the potential to generate a tsunami event in the South China Sea, Yuan was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency today.
China argues such measures are aimed at helping countries in the region to cope up with natural disasters. It recently opened a light house saying it helps navigation in the region.
China claims almost all of South China Sea as its own.
However, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the area.
Located along the earthquake zone of the Pacific Rim, China faces threats from regional and trans-ocean tsunami.
In particular, those originating from the Nankai Trough and Manila Trench may seriously threaten the South China Sea, the Xinhua reported.
China’s tsunami warning network can warn of events in the whole Pacific within five minutes, in the northern and western part of the ocean in one minute and in the South China Sea in 30 seconds.
The network receives data from about 800 tide and current stations and 60 tsunami detection buoys around the world, in addition to 112 tidal stations along the country’s own coast.
In the first 15 years of the 21st century, more than ten tsunami disasters were recorded, compared with the average level of one in every six years in the previous century.