Korean researchers develop technology to rescue earthquake victims

강진 도심 붕괴하면...매몰자 구조 기술 개발
Last November, a five-point-four magnitude earthquake struck Korea's southeastern city of Pohang, causing significant damage to buildings and injuring dozens of people.
It has raised the awareness of the need for effective countermeasures... and Korean researchers are developing new ways to accelerate rescue operations using drones and excavation technology.
Park Se-young has more.
During an earthquake simulation, rescue workers and researchers brainstorm ways to find and rescue survivors within the "golden time" of 72 hours.
First, the rescue team flies a drone above the collapsed building to assess the damage and to locate survivors buried less than ten meters underground.
The drone detects Wi-Fi signals from smartphones that belong to the survivors.
Then, the team creates 3-D maps to designate entry points and secure lifelines.
The primary lifeline's goal is to deliver food, water and supplies to survivors within 72 hours.
Using sound and motion detectors, the rescue workers can also search for survivors.
Finally, a secondary lifeline, which is about one meter in diameter, allows rescuers to go in and bring the survivors out.
Since the system is a combination of existing technologies, it can be used right away.

"In the event of a collapse, we can plot the optimal path for installing lifelines by analyzing nearby buildings and underground structures.

Although Korea is no longer free from the threat of earthquakes, only about 30 percent of Seoul's buildings and houses were designed to withstand earthquakes.
The researchers and rescue workers believe their system will be able to minimize casualties if buildings do collapse.
Park Se-young, Arirang News.

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