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‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake early warning system goes West Coast wide

‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake early warning system goes West Coast wide

Reston, Va. — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with university, state, and private-sector partners highlighted the rollout of Version 1.2 of the USGS ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system.  This milestone extends the ShakeAlert “production prototype” that was rolled out in California in 2016 to Washington and Oregon, creating a fully integrated system for the West Coast that can support pilot uses of alerts.

There will be simultaneous media events with Members of Congress, the USGS and universities held on April 10, 2017 at two locations: University of Washington and the Eugene Water & Electric Board headquarters. The media events will highlight new advances in the system and pilot uses being developed by project partners.

Timely warnings of an earthquake could provide several seconds, and in favorable cases up to a minute or two, before the arrival of damaging shaking.  Even a few seconds can allow time to take protective action, such as taking cover in safe locations, slowing trains, stopping elevators and opening doors at the nearest floor, or automatically stopping critical processes to mitigate damages or to enhance public safety.

The system does not yet support public warnings but this version allows selected early adopters to develop pilot implementations that demonstrate the system’s utility and develop technologies that pave the way for broader use.

The ShakeAlert system is being co-developed with public and private partners, which include: the U.S. Geological Survey, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California Geological Survey, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the California Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, the University of Nevada at Reno and Central Washington University.