Last Update: Thursday, May 16, 2013
|Legislation Proposed for Quake Warning System|
|Written by Andres Chavez|
|Thursday, 31 January 2013 06:35|
State Senator Alex Padilla with Cal Tech earthquake scientists announces plans for legislation for early earthquake detection.
Eighty million dollars is the price tag being proposed in legislation to create an earthquakewarning system designed to give California residents as much as 60 seconds advance notice of a quake. At a news conference on Monday Jan. 28 at Caltech in Pasadena, State Senator Alex Padilla (D, Van Nuys) announced, "California is going to have an earthquake early warning system; the question is whether we have one before or after the next big quake."
California already has a network of hundreds of sensors measuring ground movement located throughout the state. Experts said the the $80 million would be used to upgrade and expand the system. If the funding is found quickly, the new system could be fully functional in two years, experts contend. It would provide as much as one minute of warning of a pending quake.
Padilla cited a recent study by Caltech and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology that concluded such a system could be implemented. "A fully developed earthquake early warning system would provide Californians critical seconds to take cover, assist loved ones, pull to the side of the road or exit a building,'' Padilla said.
Michael Gurnis, director of the Caltech Seismological Laboratory, pointed out that such a system, if rolled out as fully operational would save lives and help California in many ways. It would allow time to stop a train or power down other critical infrastructures. In addition, it would also speed police and fire personnel response by identifying quickly the areas hardest hit by the quake.
"For decades Caltech and UC Berkeley have worked with the U.S. Geological Survey on science that can help the public in the event of a major quake," Gurnis said. "Earthquake Early Warning is a ripe area for development of a system that can provide a few seconds to tens of seconds of advance notice for many people in the event of a major earthquake."
The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast released in 2008 predicted a 99.7 percent likelihood of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in California in the next 30 years and a 94 percent chance of a magnitude 7.0. Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Turkey, Romania, Italy and China either have or are working on an earthquake earlywarning systems. The Mexican system warned citizens of Mexico City last year shortly before a 7.4 quake that began near Acapulco arrived.
Southern California is particularly at risk of a major quake on the San Andeas Fault. The fault is far enough from Los Angeles that officials believe residents would have a one minute warning of a major quake.
Scientists and experts who attended the press conference included Dr. Lucy Jones, Senior Advisor for Risk Reduction, U.S. Geological Survey, Mr. Douglas Given, Early Warning Project Coordinator, U.S. Geological Survey Dr. Thomas Heaton, Professor of Engineering Seismology, Caltech, Dr. Egill Hauksson, Senior Research Associate in Geophysics, Caltech, Dr. Peggy Hellweg, Operations Manager, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, UC Berkeley & Commissioner, California Seismic Safety Commission, Dr. Cyndi Atherton, Program Director for Science, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 06:39|