Long Beach selected to test earthquake early warning system

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

LONG BEACH (CNS) – The city of Long Beach was selected by Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey to serve as a test site for an earthquake early warning system, officials announced today.

The California Integrated Seismic Network Earthquake Early Warning System uses existing seismic networks to detect temblors in order to send out a warning before destructive seismic waves reach areas outside of the epicenter.

“The earthquake early warning system provides the city with another tool, in addition to CERT classes to prepare residents and all-hazards training to prepare staff, in the event of a disaster or major emergency,” Deputy City Manager Reginald Harrison said. “Once fully developed, this technology could literally save lives.”

The warnings are meant to give people time to protect themselves, medical professionals time to pause surgeries and other procedures, transportation officials to slow down trains, emergency responders to open fire station doors and for elevator doors to open.

Departments within the city of Long Beach have been selected to test the system and give feedback, according to Harrison. The testing, which will be at no cost to the city, will give the program’s developers information to fine- tune the system, he said.

Earthquake early warning systems can provide between two to 10 seconds of advance warning to areas outside of the epicenter, according to the California Integrated Seismic Network.

Early warning systems are operating in Mexico, Taiwan and Japan.

 

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