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Warning System to Help Mitigate Quake Impact on Water Network

Warning System to Help Mitigate Quake Impact on Water NetworkWarning System to Help Mitigate Quake Impact on Water Network

Tehran was jolted by two largely harmless tremors in recent weeks and some experts forecast a strong and deadly earthquake is in the making, but among its many damaging trails, such a quake could have little impact on the city's water and wastewater networks.

According to a report by ISNA on Saturday, Tehran's water and wastewater networks are equipped with a system that could provide warning of a major shakeup by a few seconds.

Once triggered, the system will send a warning to operators, providing them with a few precious seconds to close water storage facilities or shut down the supply network altogether.  

The measure will lower the likelihood of flooding in case key water supply junctures are ruptured by an earthquake, the report said.

On Dec. 20, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake rattled the city of Meshkindasht in Alborz Province, with its tremors strongly felt in most areas of Tehran. The ripples of another earthquake, with a magnitude of 4.2, was felt in Tehran on Dec. 27, putting the city of more than 8 million people on alert.

Officials have also played down concerns about gas explosions in the aftermath of a strong quake in the capital.

The National Iranian Gas Company says it has devised a way to avoid major gas explosions in the aftermath of a strong quake in the capital.

A quake in urban areas is often compounded by cracks in gas pipelines that cause deadly explosions.

However, according to NIGC Spokesman Majid Boujarzadeh, the state gas company would cut off supply to Tehran once a strong earthquake hits the city of 8 million people.

“Some of the main gas valves will automatically be shut off if a strong earthquake hits the capital and other valves will be immediately cut off manually by the NIGC personnel,” Boujarzadeh said this month.

Boujarzadeh noted that Tehran’s gas supply network was unaffected by the recent tremors.

Geological studies indicate that a massive earthquake can occur in Tehran. According to an estimate, a magnitude 7 earthquake can destroy 30% of buildings in Tehran and kill at least 100,000 people.

The quake that threw Tehran into disarray and forced officials to close schools and public offices served as a test of how the capital is ready to face a stronger earthquake that could cause a catastrophe of unthinkable proportion.

Last month, close to 500 people died in a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that rocked the western Kermanshah Province and reduced tens of towns and villages to rubble.

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