ShakeAlert, as the program is called is designed to alert citizens in the West Coast. California, Oregon and Washington were reported to form the unified system to alert their residents of an incoming large earthquake magnitude shake.
According to The Washington, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network last April 10 which debuted the ShakeAlert program was hosted by the University of Washington. The ShakeAlert program then provides seconds for people to do necessary things before a damaging quake arrives like getting out of the building, getting off commute vehicles, saving things and others.
The idea of ShakeAlert is explained not to be an announcer or predictor of when an earthquake will come. Yet, the program that relies on a dense network of seismometers that will alert people whether a large magnitude will hit the area. Hence, an initial and not damaging seismic wave from an incoming earthquake is expected to travel through the ground, making sensors detect it and warn people.
With that said, in the same launch date of ShakeAlert, Bothell-based RH2, was reported to be the first to volunteer in the trial. The test then allowed some of their products to have ShakeAlert attached to it. “But there’s no guarantee you can get the valve fully closed before the shaking causes damage,” chairman of the engineering firm, Dan Ervin said per Seattle Times.
“The advantage of earthquake early warning is that it gives us forewarning that the shaking will occur, and we can be sure the valve is fully closed by the time the shaking starts,” Ervin added. The technology was also reported to be used in Japan yet their warnings pop up in their cellphones as bullet trains were also automatically stopped. The ShakeAlert project is reported to have other trials being conducted.
The ShakeAlert early warning sign program was also identified to might have problems with the Trump’s administration’s funding. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated to have $38 million added to their budget for a more reliable system as California was reported to have already spent $10 million more. Nonetheless, the agency hopes for a public release next year.