Press release archive: 2011

The Finnish Meteorological Institute monitors the situation in Japan and conveys information to the other authorities

14.3.2011 14:08

A massive earthquake struck the northern part of Honshu, Japan's main island, on 11 March at 07:45 hours Finnish time. The earthquake also caused a devastating tsunami and led to problems at Japanese nuclear power plants.

A massive earthquake struck the northern part of Honshu, Japan’s main island, on 11 March at 07:45 hours Finnish time. The earthquake also caused a devastating tsunami and led to problems at Japanese nuclear power plants.

The situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is dangerous. According to the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK), any emissions that might escape the plant will have no health effects in Finland.

Whenever necessary, the Finnish Meteorological Institute supports the activities of STUK and other authorities as concerns the situation in Japan.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute is observing the situation with respect to the weather, natural disasters, including volcanos, and nuclear power plants. In Finland, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority is keeping an eye on circumstances at the Japanese nuclear power plants and will provide more information as the situation unfolds.

Forecast of air movement in Fukushima, Japan

LUOVA provides information about natural disasters for the authorities

Within the LUOVA system, the Finnish Meteorological Institute is responsible for warnings associated with weather events and the sea water level, the Institute of Seismology at the University of Helsinki produces information about earthquakes, and the Finnish Environment Institute gives warnings about flooding in water systems. Daily monitoring within the LUOVA system is organised in conjunction with the Safety Weather Service of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The bodies maintaining the LUOVA system automatically receive messages and tsunami warnings issued by international tsunami warning centres, keeping the LUOVA system up to date in this respect, too. The water level in Finnish coastal areas is also monitored regularly and forecasts enable advance warnings about exceptional situations.

A single joint information channel has been created between expert bodies and the safety authorities to produce and transmit up-to-date information and forecasts about natural disasters as quickly and understandably as possible. A prerequisite for the operation of the up-to-date LUOVA system is a constant 24-hour watch. Another important prerequisite is an information system that enables global monitoring of various information sources and analysis of threats, risks and past natural disasters.

The goal of LUOVA is to improve situation awareness during natural disasters. The system provides the authorities with the most accurate information and forecasts available about a natural event posing a threat to the safety of the public or the functioning of the infrastructure. The system also transmits information about natural disasters taking place abroad. On the basis of this information, the authorities can decide on their own actions and warn the public.

Additional information:

Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority: http://www.stuk.fi
International Atomic Energy Agency: http://www.iaea.org
Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs: www.formin.fi

Earthquakes:

Institute of Seismology, University of Helsinki: Pekka J. Heikkinen, tel. 050 526 2438, Pekka.J.Heikkinen@helsinki.fi
Seismologist Matti Tarvainen, tel. (09)191 51581, matti.tarvainen@helsinki.fi

LUOVA portal: Director Juhani Damski, tel. (09) 1929 3400, juhani.damski@fmi.fi
Sea level/tsunamis: Senior Researcher Pekka Alenius, tel. (09) 1929 6439, pekka.alenius@fmi.fi