Abstract

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is a governmental organization that has responsibilities for mitigation of natural disasters. JMA issues warnings and information about natural disasters, in addition to daily weather forecasts. When an earthquake occurs, JMA analyzes seismic data to issue an earthquake early warning and to warn of possible tsunamis when a tsunami is expected to strike coastal areas of Japan. During tsunami warning in effect, JMA monitors tsunami meters and updates the warning. JMA also provides several types of macroseismic information. To fulfill these responsibilities, JMA collects data from 4400 seismic intensity meters, 1800 seismometers, 400 tsunami meters, and 39 strainmeters. Monitoring must be continued even under difficult situations such as times following great earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, severe weather conditions, and pandemics. JMA has dual operations centers located in Tokyo and Osaka. When one loses functionality due to a disaster or infection, the other continues 24/7 operations including warnings and issuing other information. Disastrous situations often cause power and communication failures and insufficient numbers of technical specialists. Following the 2011 Tohoku‐oki earthquake, JMA enhanced power and communication capabilities by adding large capacity batteries at each station and satellite communication links. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic, JMA has taken several measures to prevent technical specialists’ infection to continue the full range of functions for issuing of warnings and conveying needed information.

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