Shake Alert System Designed to Give Residents Early Warning of Earthquakes

Posted on January 30, 2013

California state Senator Alex Padilla has introduced a bill that proposes the creation of a earthquake early warning system. NBC Southern California reports that the system could give Californians 30 to 60 seconds warning of an earthquake, giving them a better chance of getting to safety. The system would cost $80 million.

An April 2012, L.A. Weekly story discusses the "Shake Alert" system, which has been running as a demonstration system since January 2012. This story says the earthquake alarm system could give as much as a 90 second warning before the "Big One" hit. The article says the phone company would still need to work out how to get immediate text alert to citizens like they do in Japan. Building a system like this in a high-risk earthquake state like California seems obvious. L.A. Weekly calls it a "political no-brainer."

Update 10-10-15: Now that the ShakeAlert system -an experimental earthquake early warning system - is in place there are videos about how it works. Here is information about ShakeAlert from IRIS Earthquake Science:

You can keep up with the latest development in ShakeAlert on the official site,

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