Feasibility Study of Community Earthquake Warning System Proposed for Mbeya City and Surrounding Regions


The Mbeya city and its surrounding regions (Rukwa, Katavi and Njombe) in south western Tanzania, fall among the fast growing economical regions in Tanzania. It is also unfortunately under potential for seismic risk due to its proximity to the western and eastern junction of the East African Rift (EAR) Valley. Construction of Community Earthquake Early Warning (CEEW) system model based on community owned MEMS accelerometer sensors in being proposed for the region. To optimize the warning time function and as the process of planning and designing the community hosted seismic network, the paper presents the simulation of warning times that can be realized in this region based on the distribution of sensor stations in relation to the historical strong earthquakes and target sites. The distribution of sensor stations determines the detection and reporting time of the event, while location of earthquakes and position of target site determine the available warning time for the target to be protected. Testing the various sensor station configura- tions (regional, On-site and Hybrid) models of CEEWS by simulation of scenario earthquakes, the hybrid configuration that distributes sensor stations closer to the source and on target sites, was able to provide at least 5 seconds of warning times to various targets. This time has been demon- strated to be enough for shutting down hazardous industrial processes and for people to take cover at safer locations to reduce injuries.

Share and Cite:

Manyele, A. and Mwambela, A. (2014) Feasibility Study of Community Earthquake Warning System Proposed for Mbeya City and Surrounding Regions. Open Journal of Earthquake Research, 3, 135-142. doi: 10.4236/ojer.2014.33013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] USGS Web Site 2000, 2005, 2009. www.earthquakes.usgs.gov/
[2] B?se, M., Ionescu, C. and Wenzel, F. (2007) Earthquake Early Warning for Bucharest, Romania: Novel and Revised Scaling Relations. Geophysical Research Letters, 34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GL029396
[3] Horiuchi, S., Negishi, H., Abe, K., Kamimura, A. and Fujinawa, Y. (2005) An Automatic Processing System for Broadcasting System Earthquake Alarms. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 95, 347-353.
[4] Hsiao, N.C., Wu, Y.M., Zhao, L., Chen, D.Y., Huang, W.T., Kuo, K.H., Shin, T.C. and Leu, P. L. (2011) A New Pro- totype System for Earthquake Early Warning in Taiwan. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 31, 201-208.
[5] Mavonga, T. (2007) An Estimate of the Attenuation Relationship for the Strong Ground Motion in the Kivu Province, Western Rift Valley of Africa. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 162, 13-21. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pepi.2007.02.001
[6] Mavonga, T.G. and Durrheim, R.J. (2009) Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment for Democratic Republic of Con- go and Surrounding Areas, Western Rift Valley of Africa. Special Africa Array Issue of South African Journal of Ge- ology, 112, 329-342.
[7] Espinoza-Aranda, H.M. and Rodriguez, F.H. (2003) The Seismic Alert System of Mexico City. In: Lee, W.H.K., Ka- namori, H., Jennings, P.C. and Kisslinger, C., Eds., International Handbook of Earthquake and Engineering Seismol- ogy, Part B, Academic Press, Amsterdam, 1253-1259.
[8] Macheyeki, A.S., Delvaux, D., De Batist, M. and Mruma, A. (2008) Fault Kinematics and Tectonic Stress in the Seis- mically Active Manyara—Dodoma Rift Segment in Central Tanzania—Implications for the East African Rift. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 51, 163-188. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2008.01.007
[9] UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2014) Tanzania-Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 1. Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/0185. OCHA Situation Report No. 1 Tanzania-Earthquake 2 October 2000. http://reliefweb.int/report/united-republic-tanzania/tanzania-earthquake-ocha-situation-report-no-1
[10] UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (2014) Ref: OCHA/GVA-2000/0193. OCHA Situation Report No. 2 Tanzania-Earthquake 5 October 2000. Tanzania-Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 2. http://reliefweb.int/report/united-republic-tanzania/tanzania-earthquake-ocha-situation-report-no-2
[11] UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) (2014) East Africa: Earthquake OCHA Situation Report No. 1. Ref: OCHA/GVA-2005/0217. 2005/12/05. OCHA SITUATION Report NO. 1. DRC, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Earthquake-Lake Tanganyika 5 December 1995. http://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/east-africa-earthquake-ocha-situation-report-no-1

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.