Even though Japan is no stranger to earthquakes, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami devastated the country in a way that no one could have even imagined. Despite the fact that Japan is known around the world for its earthquake preparedness, the country constantly struggles to come up with better ways to predict earthquakes and better prepare its population against the natural disaster. With Ryukyu University researchers predicting a massive eruption at Mt. Fuji by the year 2015, the fear for yet another high magnitude earthquake looms large over the population. However, Force Media, a Tokyo-based initiative has now come up with a new flashlight that can alter people in the event of an earthquake.
Dubbed Gura-pika, the LED flashlight comes with a built in radio that is tuned to respond to the Earthquake Warning Alarm that is sounded in Japan in case of an earthquake. The flashlight is devised to alert users with a visual and audio alarm in a seismic emergency. The device is aimed at people whose living spaces do not allow them to hear public address systems and public alarms system easily when inside.
The ingenious safety device could be particularly handy for people with hearing disabilities as it gives them a visual warning that syncs to the local warning issued by public officials. The flashlight is powered by a unique hand cranking mechanism which means that users never have to worry about batteries running out or replacing them though they would have to ensure that they keep the flashlight cranked up every now and then. The Gura-pika flashlight can also be charged via a regular wall socket through a USB port that can also be used to charge smartphones. When fully charged, the flashlight can provide up to 14 hours of illumination and six hours of radio playtime.