In his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, President Barack Obama is reportedly seeking an additional $5 million to spend on an early earthquake warning system for the West Coast.
In 1989, a gallon of gas was just less than a dollar, the first episode of “The Simpsons” aired on TV, and the first GPS satellites were launched into orbit. Twenty-five years later, GPS is the key to new technology allowing seismologists to warn us when a big quake is about to hit.
Could low-cost quake detectors become as common as smoke detectors in California homes? A professor at UC Berkeley said he built an alarm himself, for about $100.
Scientists and politicians planned to meet at UC Berkeley next week for a summit on developing an early earthquake warning system.
Congress is expected to approve $5 million to expand an early earthquake warning system to the entire West Coast.
Depending on how close to the epicenter of an earthquake you are, you could get more than a minute warning if California can find the funding for a new early warnings system.
A new earthquake early-warning system installed by Bay Area Rapid Transit will detect earthquakes precious seconds before the ground starts shaking, allowing trains to be slowed down in an effort to prevent derailments.
A system giving Californians warning of an impending earthquake may not be operational any time soon despite the success of similar programs in other countries.