Fewer Geologists Monitoring California Quakes Due To Government Shutdown

MENLO PARK (KCBS) — Earthquake monitoring in California is taking a hit, as the partial shutdown of the federal government approaches its third day.

At the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, the doors were locked Wednesday. All but 43 of 8,600 full-time staffed geologists with the agency have been furloughed. In addition, USGS websites for the most part are down.

Fewer Geologists Monitoring Earthquakes Due to Federal Government Shutdown

In the meantime, earthquake detection lies in the hands of experts at the state level.

“Living in a tectonic region with all the earthquake hazards; we’re point of information, public information, and safety information and that’s being cut off,” Anne Rosinski, a senior geologist with the California Geological Survey told KCBS. They share offices with the USGS.

Rosinski said after going through furloughs themselves, due to state budget cuts, they understand what their federal colleagues are experiencing.

“We have a lot of sympathy for what they’re going through. It’s certainly not easy especially for people who have families and are going to be missing out on part of their paycheck. It’s going to be a hardship,” she said

Rosinski said state geologists will continue to monitor the network of seismic sensors across the state, but the website disruption could impact engineers and contractors working on the construction of new schools and hospitals.

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