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The Latest: Earthquake alerts could begin within 2 years

September 29, 2016 - 2:23 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Latest on California's earthquake warning system (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

California emergency management officials say automated earthquake warnings could begin within the next one to two years.

Mark Ghilarducci (gil-ahr-DOO'-chee) of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services said Thursday that the state is working to quickly roll out the automatic alerts that will warn people through their cellphones, radios and other devices.

Ghillarduchi spoke hours after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to implement the program. The Democratic governor earlier this year approved $10 million for the program as part of the state budget.

Early warnings can allow train operators to slam on the breaks, surgeons to pull their sharp tools out of a patient's body and school children to duck and cover.

Automated systems can open fire station doors and shut down gas lines.


10:45 a.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to develop a statewide earthquake early warning system in California, after devoting $10 million to the program in the state budget he signed this year.

Brown announced Thursday that he signed SB438 by Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat from San Mateo.

The legislation sets up the early warning program, called "ShakeAlert."

Seismic early warning systems are designed to detect the first shock waves from a large jolt, calculate the strength and alert people before the slower but damaging waves spread. Mexico, China and Japan are among the countries already using them.

Ultimately, scientists plan to develop apps for mobile phones and computers that would give the public the early alerts.

California officials will submit a plan to the state Legislature by February 2018.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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