Scientists in California Developing Earthquake Warning System

Posted on September 20, 2011

Scientists in California have developed a prototype for an earthquake warning system. The Pasadena Star News reports that the warning system for California is still $80 million and five years away. It is being developed by scientists at Caltech and the USGS. The system could give California residents extra seconds to prepare for violent shaking. It could also send signals to slow trains or have elevators move to nearest floor and open the doors so people can get out and take cover. USGS Geophysicist Doug Given says people could get from 0 to 60 seconds warning ahead of an earthquake depending on their distance from the epicenter.

Japan's Meteorological Agency already has an early warning system in place that sends message to citizens using radio, tv, mobile phone and email just before the violent shaking begins. Japan's system also warns people that tsunami waves are approaching, like it did following the March 2011 9.0-magnitude earthquake.