Trump Budget Eliminates West Coast’s Earthquake Early-Warning System

LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would cut funding for ShakeAlert, an earthquake early-warning system for California, Oregon and Washington state.

The system being developed, in conjunction with scientists at Caltech, UC Berkeley, the University of Washington and the University of Oregon, is intended to provide critical seconds of warning when an earthquake has started and potentially dangerous shaking is imminent.

Veteran seismologist Lucy Jones says the loss of federal funding would stop the program.

A version of the ShakeAlert system has been undergoing testing but still needs more seismic sensors installed in Northern California, Oregon and Washington.

The proposed funding cuts for the next fiscal year starting Oct. 1 would be from the U.S. Geological Survey’s budget.

The 2018 budget for the U.S. Geological Survey, at $922.2 million, is $137.8 million less than the 2017 budget, according to the Department of the Interior.

Overall, the U.S.G.S. anticipates having to cut one in six staff positions in 2018 under Trump’s budget.

According to the U.S.G.S., “The budget eliminates the USGS investment in the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system, a reduction of $8.2 million and reduces regional earthquake monitoring, hazard assessments, and research in areas of moderate seismic risk by $800,000. The budget maintains support for robust national earthquake monitoring and reporting.”

California Rep. Adam Schiff tells the Los Angeles Times it’s unacceptable to stop the program just as its system is being built out.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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