PASADENA (CBSLA) — Scientists could soon be rolling out an earthquake early warning system that has the potential to save lives when mere seconds count.
The Shake Alert system has been tested with some agencies, like schools and L.A. Metro, and the developers say they’re ready to share the technology with more businesses and local governments. The system can alert from seconds up to a minute before an earthquake, as well as warn about aftershocks.READ MORE: One Wounded After Gunman Opens Fire On Car Along 110 Freeway In South LA
It’s about “getting the alerts into schools, into factory settings, to slow and stop trains, to protect water systems, those are happening today, and we’re looking for more and more partners to increase the number of applications,” USGS Early Warning Coordinator Doug Given said at Wednesday press conference at Cal Tech.READ MORE: 3 Pop-Up Vaccination Sites To Open In Northeast San Fernando Valley
Scientists and lawmakers said they’ve already installed about half of the 400 sensors needed along the West Coast. They’ve secured $45 million in government funding, and they expect to offer the system to the general public soon.MORE NEWS: Large Commercial Blaze Erupts In South LA
However, it’s about more than the threat of physical harm or damage to property, said seismologist Lucy Jones, PhD. “The psychology of knowing oh this one’s gonna be small is gonna help people cope with it in a way that goes beyond any of the physical losses, and that’s as important as anything else,” Jones said.