California lawmaker proposes earthquake warning system
February 4, 2013
State Senator Alex Padilla has introduced a bill to create a statewide early warning system for earthquakes that would cost at least $80 million. [Mercury News]
The proposed system would warn residents up to 60 seconds in advance of an earthquake by processing data from a network of sensors across the state.
Padilla, a Democrat from Van Nuys, said an early warning system in California is a necessity.
“California is going to have an earthquake early warning system; the question is whether we have one before or after the next big quake,” Padilla said. “A fully developed earthquake early warning system would provide Californians critical seconds to take cover, assist loved ones, pull to the side of the road, or exit a building.”
Padilla also cited a study conducted by Caltech and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology that determined an earthquake affecting both the Bay Area and Los Angeles may be possible.
An international forecast released in 2008 predicted a 99.7 percent likelihood of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake in California in the next 30 years. The 1994 Northridge quake that killed 60 people and caused more than $13 billion in damage had a magnitude of 6.7.