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Earthquake early-warning system gave
10-second alert before Napa quake felt

Los Angeles Times, by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:Ribicon, 8/25/2014 4:13:27 PM

Scientists at UC Berkeley released a video showing an earthquake early-warning system that sent an alert before the magnitude-6.0 Napa earthquake Sunday morning. Officials said the system provided an alert 10 seconds before the quake was felt. California is working to complete a statewide system, which could be unveiled in the next few years. Once fully developed, the system could give downtown Los Angeles 40 to 50 seconds of warning that the “Big One” was headed from the San Andreas fault, giving time for elevators to stop at the next floor and open up, firefighters to open up garage doors,

Comments:
Ten whole seconds; wonder how much they´re spending on this useful system.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: mamafrog, 8/25/2014 4:25:37 PM     (No. 9980579)

I was thrilled to see the 10 second warning. There is never going to be a long warning for an earthquake - 10 seconds is long enough to grab your kid and get to a doorway - it won´t save everyone but it will save some.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter, 8/25/2014 4:27:13 PM     (No. 9980580)

So when is the system expected to be "fully developed?" High-speed rail may be a bargain by comparison.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 8/25/2014 4:27:58 PM     (No. 9980582)

Well, there´s 3.4 billion dollars well spent.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: viking diver, 8/25/2014 4:29:57 PM     (No. 9980583)

#1 doorways have proven to be a hazzard, getting under a sturdy table may be more survivable.
but at 3 am how many people will get this alert or wake up in time.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 8/25/2014 4:38:36 PM     (No. 9980596)

10 seconds is better than no warning, but here is the clincher:
A lack of funds, however, has slowed the system´s progress.

They want more money (lots more).

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Reply 6 - Posted by: dman, 8/25/2014 4:43:02 PM     (No. 9980606)

Seconds before a quake or auto collision, minutes before a tornado or wildfire, or hours before a hurricane, can indeed save lives. It´s all relative to the risk.

Admittedly, there is a long way to go. But successful early warning systems will become cost effective as they improve. Yes, it´s expensive: but it´s worth it.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: JediJerry, 8/25/2014 4:43:50 PM     (No. 9980607)

10 seconds is just enough time to bend over to kiss your butt goodbye.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: BaseballFan, 8/25/2014 4:55:16 PM     (No. 9980622)

LOL #7.
Although 10 seconds at 2:30 in the morning is barely enough time to say, "Huh? Wha?"

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Reply 9 - Posted by: caljeepgirl, 8/25/2014 5:03:37 PM     (No. 9980631)

Actually, under the circumstances, 10 seconds is quite a bit of time. It could conceivably save numerous lives and reduce many injuries. Ultimately, it´s a cost-benefit decision...

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Reply 10 - Posted by: snowoutlaw, 8/25/2014 5:10:47 PM     (No. 9980638)

The big problem with warning is the closer you are to quake the shorter the warning. If you are close enough to be damaged, the warning is close to no warning at all. Might help for the real big one but little ones like this 6.1 have such a amall damage footprint its like the lightening flash and thunder sound arrive at about the same time.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: North Range, 8/25/2014 5:52:52 PM     (No. 9980687)

They´ve done studies that show animals know of earthquakes before people do. I´d bet it more than 10 seconds. Get a dog.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: oh-heck, 8/25/2014 6:11:10 PM     (No. 9980717)

No one really thinks of lightning as an early warning for thunder because the lightning is by far the deadlier of the two. 10 seconds may save some lives but a far better understanding of the mechanism of earthquakes needs to be developed so that we can predict from increased seismic activity that the big ones are building so that major structural improvements can be made in time. Probably would end up along the lines of 40% probability in the next 12 months of 3 or greater, 4% probability of 4 or greater, 0.4% probability of 5 or greater, and 0.04% probability of 6 or greater.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: Butch, 8/25/2014 7:58:42 PM     (No. 9980873)

The closer one is to an earthquake´s epicenter, the shorter the warning and the stronger the shaking. Depending on where The Big One might be centered (e.g., along the San Andreas Fault in the Coachella Valley), people throughout the Los Angeles area could get a significant warning. And, as previous posters have written, even ten seconds is enough time to take cover.

I left California last October after spending 27 years in the state, largely because of reckless spending (e.g., the multi-billion-dollar Bullet train whose first phase runs from Corcoran to Hanford), dreary long-term electoral prospects, outrageous energy prices, and overweening regulations. The state is truly a mess, and I don´t miss living there.

That said, an earthquake warning system for California is one project that clearly is worth the cost for research, development, and implementation. Such a system could never be perfect, but it could save many, many lives when The Big One hits - as it surely will. A successful system could be extremely useful if implemented in other earthquake places in the world as well (such as where I now live, in the Andes).

I can dump on California with the best of ´em, but this is a great idea that´s worth pursuing.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Rumblehog, 8/26/2014 12:31:51 AM     (No. 9981192)

You can probably watch the little critters and deer scramble an hour before it hits and it´s far more reliable, and cheaper than this 10 second wonder.

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