The ownership of Sittwe seismic station, the first real-time broadband seismic station in Myanmar to share data globally, has been transferred from ESCAP to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology of Myanmar on 27 November 2013; the Government of Myanmar takes now full responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Sittwe seismic station. The Sittwe seismic station, established in 2010 with support from ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness and the Royal Thai Government, improves Myanmar’s capacity in detecting and locating earthquakes in the country and across the region, and fills an important gap in the regional tsunami warning system.
Sittwe seismic station
Myanmar lies on the earthquake belt of the Himalayan range: 15 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 7.0 have been observed in Myanmar in the past 100 years, mainly from the Sagaing Fault. This fault runs from north to south of the country passing through the central region, and the Sunda-Andaman Subduction Zone, which runs parallel to Myanmar’s coastal areas. Seismic observations are, therefore, important in improving knowledge of seismic and tsunami hazards in the country, and application in reducing disaster risks.
The Sittwe seismic station improved Myanmar’s capacity in detecting and locating earthquakes in the country and across the region. The station is equipped with a strong motion sensor for detecting strong ground motion, essential for determining earthquake damage on manmade structures. Data, recorded at the station in SEED/ mini-SEED format, is transmitted digitally via VSAT to the National Earthquake Data Center of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology. The Department is able to access data from IRIS via internet, as well as from RIMES through a SeisComP – Antelope interface. Using SeisComP, data are then processed by the Data Center’s 24/7 staff, who have been trained under an ongoing project by RIMES, with support from the ESCAP Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
The Sittwe station is significant not only to Myanmar’s tsunami warning system, but also to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, as part of its core network of seismic stations in the region. In compliance with UNESCO/IOC ICG/IOTWS standards for seismic stations, the Sittwe station has the following instruments:
- Triaxial broadband seismometer (STS-2)
- Triaxial force balance accelerometer (ES-T)
- Advance broadband digitizer (Q330HR, 6 channels)
- Network-aware recording system (Baler with 20GB memory)
- C-Band Tx/Rx satellite earth station
- Solar power supply system
*Link to a video on the establishment and sustainability of the Sittwe real-time broadband seismic station: https://vimeo.com/80766508