California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation calling for development of a statewide earthquake early warning system.
The bill signed Tuesday directs the Office of Emergency Services to identify sources of funding for the system by January 2016.
General fund revenues cannot be used for the system, which has an initial estimated cost of $80 million.
The bill's author, state Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, says the system will provide critical seconds of warning for people to take cover, shut down critical systems and stop trains.
A prototype system connected to seismic sensors has been undergoing testing.
The system does not predict quakes. Rather, it uses the initial fast-moving waves from an occurring quake to calculate strength and to send alerts before slower but damaging waves spread.