California may spend $10 million on earthquake warning system

May 16, 2016

earthquakeCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown has reversed course and proposed allocating $10 million in state funds toward an earthquake early warning system that federal government scientists and university researchers are developing. United States Geological Survey officials say the state funds would provide a big boost to the project and would allow for a limited rollout of earthquake alerts by 2018. [LA Times]

The warning system under construction would provide alerts in California, Oregon and Washington. But, the three West Coast states have thus far refused to make financial contributions from their state budgets.

In California, Brown and the state Legislature argued the money should come from private and federal sources. The federal government contributed $8 million to the project in the current fiscal year, and another $8 million has been requested for the upcoming fiscal year.

An earthquake warning system for California alone is estimated to cost about $23 million to build and $12 million annually to operate. If the system were to include Oregon and Washington, it would cost an estimated $38 million to build and $16 million annually to operate.

When a limited rollout of the early warning system occurs, places like classrooms, offices, shopping malls, amusement parks and police and fire stations will receive earthquake alerts. The alerts will allow for seconds, or perhaps more than a minute, of warning.

Officials say seconds of warning to drop, cover and hold on would save many lives during an earthquake. Alerts could also give trains time to slow down and doctors time to stop surgery.

Eventually, earthquake warning systems could halt the flow of natural gas through pipelines, which could prevent fires, and open elevators at the next floor to prevent occupants from being trapped. Scientists plan to develop apps for phones and computers that would deliver the alerts to users.

In 2014, a prototype early warning system provided researchers in San Francisco with eight seconds of warning that shaking from a magnitude 6.0 Napa earthquake was coming. Earlier this year, 30 seconds of warning was achieved before a magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered in Banning caused the ground to shake in downtown Los Angeles.

Of the $10 million Brown has proposed contributing, $6.875 million would go toward capital costs and $2.241 million would go toward educating people on how to react to alerts. Brown’s proposal calls for using the remainder of the money on staffing costs and determining future financing.


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achillesheal

Let me get this straight…the state will invest $10M taxpayer dollars in a startup. Since when is governor brown Kevin oleary from shark tank. Taxpayer dollars used to fund a concept?


You have got to be kidding me.


hijinks

You’re kidding us, aren’t you? Cancer cures, prevention of polio, treatments for malaria and tuberculosis, safer car designs that save lives, the internet, the highway system, the rail system — all this was because of “government start ups.” Guess you’re unaware of this. It’s called providing for the public good, and it’s what government at its best does.


Rambunctious

Cancer cures? you mean Cancer treatments developed in a lab not in congress. Polio? cured by accident in a lab not in the White House. Malaria is on the rise because Government stop killing Mosquitoes out of fear of DDT. Highway system sucks and the rail system is breaking apart. Safer cars? Recall! Bad Airbags! etc etc. Yep this is what government does best. That’s the problem.


r0y

Great news! Now maybe this state can FINALLY survive an earthquake! You know, because we’ve never had a warning, so that’s why we have no history of surviving one.


Next proposal: GIANT STAPLES to hold the state together along the fault lines!


r0y

*maybe those giant staples could double as railroad supports for high-speed rail lines?! Yeah, I got lots of great democrat-style ideas to waste someone else’s money on…


Rambunctious

10 Million? What is it a bunch of tin cans tied to a string?…..


Mr. Holly

Once the marijuana initiative pass these stoners are going to need way more than 30 seconds to plug the warning into what’s left of their brain and then attempt to react.

Would you be able to slow the bullet train down to a stop within 30 seconds?


65buick

Anything to enrich bureaucracy. 12M to operate? Right.


NorthCountyGuy

Its just another one of Jerry Brown’s tax-wasting boondoggles. It reminds me of Jerry Brown’s Bullet Train to nowhere.


dogeatdog

EARLY WARNING SYSTEM?


Are there now fall out shelters to go to before an earthquake? Or is it so you know a fraction of a second before the earthquake hits,that one is going to hit?


How stupid can one be? I understand for tornadoes,tsunami’s flash floods. but an earthquake?


So if you aren’t listening to the radio at that second, you might not get the warning, and what are you suppose to do or where are you to go?


Jerry Brown has lost his f#%*ing mind, first the high speed rail that is a total waste of money, and now this?


I would rather my tax $$’s go to warn me about the idiots that are trying to get into office and waste my tax dollars, That is the early warning system I want. Or how about a system that forces elected officials to tell the truth.Yep I would let my tax dollars pay for that.


Holy crap I have heard it all now, an early warning system for earthquakes.


tomsquawk

if yer dog falls into a crack in the ground there is the early warning.


r0y

You assume he had a mind to lose in the first place.


kayaknut

Too bad Governor Brown and the state Legislature has no problem using taxpayer money for a non-bullet train to nowhere instead of also insisting all of the money for it must also come from the private sector. Of course we know why the private sector would not fund Brown’s trophy train, it makes no logical sense, it will only waste money, something Brown has no problem doing with taxpayer money.


Jorge Estrada

The state has already wasted a ransom in money. The bullet train is just an excuse for show, some call it money laundering. The Feds are trillions in debt, California is billions in debt and most counties are millions in debt, yet we hear the radio, Glen Beck talk show, where the callers are proud to tell their payoff story and shout, “I’m debt free”! I guess we are be trained to payoff our debt so that we can afford new taxes for un-documented people, unfunded liabilities and expensive studies that seek giving the voters a choice to support new taxes. Yes it is just that stupid, a 10 million dollar Quake Drama.


Jorge Estrada

I have a parrot that says, ” kiss my ass” just minutes before and earthquake. For $25 I can buy a autodial phone that could call Jerry Brown so that my parrot can alert him. Brown should spend money on our already bad roads needing improvements for any exodus.


achillesheal

Get your parrot a twitter account. I will follow him!


CentralcoastRN

That won’t work. Everyone already calls him and says “kiss my ass”. How would he know it was the real thing?


Jorge Estrada

Now I know where he picked up that language. His previous owner must have been with the State Capitol answering service.