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A look at the fate of California’s earthquake early warning system




The Coachella Valley is bisected by the San Andreas Fault. A powerful earthquake could immobilize Southern California.
The Coachella Valley is bisected by the San Andreas Fault. A powerful earthquake could immobilize Southern California.
Jacob Margolis

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What does President Trump's proposed budget mean for the system that alerts West Coast residents when an earthquake hits?

Trump’s plan doesn’t include federal funding to develop ShakeAlert, the earthquake early warning system, reports the Los Angeles Times. Instead, money would go to earthquake monitoring services that are already in place

Scientists hope the system could alert people via their cell phones as an earthquake is starting, giving them crucial seconds to take cover. The system might also be placed in classrooms, police and fire departments and amusement parks.

How will this new budget plan impact the project? Will the system be able to survive without federal funds?

Guests:

John Vidale, seismology professor at the University of Washington and director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN), an organization which monitors earthquake activity across the Pacific Northwest and is developing the earthquake early warning system; he tweets @seismoguy ‏

Steve Gregory, KPCC Environment and Science editor; he tweets @stevefredgreg