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Thread: California rolls out "early earthquake warning system" on 30th anniversary of deadly 1989 northern CA quake

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    California rolls out "early earthquake warning system" on 30th anniversary of deadly 1989 northern CA quake

    Remember the Loma Prieta quake, which interrupted the A's/Giants World Series, and killed over 60 people, about two thirds of them crushed when a double-decker freeway collapsed?

    That was exactly 30 years ago today.

    California targeted this date for the rollout of the "early earthquake warning system", which can give residents 1-10 seconds to run outside or at least get better situated.

    I actually thought of this idea 25 years ago during the 1994 Northridge quake, but there was no way to design it at the time, since nobody had smartphones and very few had cell phones.

    The reason I thought of it is because I got an "early warning" I didn't understand until it was too late. I was with a girl in Orange County that night, and we had the radio on to a station based in Hollywood. We heard the station repeatedly skip all of a sudden, which I chalked up to the late-night DJ not paying attention. Then about 10 seconds later, the lights flickered, and I knew what was coming. About a second after that, we felt that big quake.

    I remember thinking at the time, "If only I had understood what the radio station skipping meant, this could have been really helpful", as I would have had 10 seconds to run outside. I wondered if in the future they would find a way to communicate that information to people.

    The reason this can work is because the earthquake rolls out from the epicenter. Everything doesn't shake at once. The farther you are from the epicenter, the more time you have between the start of the quake and when it reaches you. In my case in 1994, I had about 10 seconds.

    This wouldn't have been very helpful during the two quakes which hit Las Vegas in July, as 10 seconds wouldn't have been enough to go from my hotel room to outside. But if in a single family house or first-floor apartment, it might be enough to get out of harm's way.

    You can download a smartphone app called "MyShake" to get these notifications.

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    Gold MrTickle's Avatar
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    MyShake? really? Sounds like a pre-order app so you can arrive at Krispy Kreme and your milkshake will be sat waiting for you.
    Last edited by MrTickle; 10-17-2019 at 07:07 AM.

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