With a background in marine sciences and geophysics, seismologist Yih-Min Wu was recruited by the Central Weather Bureau in 1993 and was assigned to design and develop a new seismic early warning and rapid reporting system for Taiwan. Two years later, the world’s first earthquake early-warning technology based on estimating intensity from various seismic waves was deployed throughout the island. This early warning system developed by Wu was able to report the 1999 Jiji earthquake within two minutes after it struck. By 2002, the system’s response time dropped to a mere 20 seconds.
Wu is currently a professor at the Department of Geosciences at the National Taiwan University. He is working on a new yet affordable detection gadget that will enable early detection in earthquake-prone areas such as China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, New Zealand, and the Philippines.