Home / National News / Increased Calls for Early Warning Earthquake System on West Coast


(LOS ANGELES) — Following Mexico’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake on April 18, lawmakers and experts are calling for an early warning system for the West Coast.

Many residents in Mexico fled to safety prior to the quake as a result of the country’s warning system.

Jennifer Strauss, spokesperson for University of California-Berkeley’s seismological lab, is an advocate for similar implementation in the United States and says the region is evaluating all options, as well as looking for federal and state funding.

State residents have long anticipated “The Big One,” including seismological lab director Richard Allen.

“We really don’t want to have a big earthquake, thousands of fatalities, before we build it,” Allen said.

On March 28, a 5.1-magnitude temblor struck the Los Angeles area, followed by nearly two dozen aftershocks.  The quake came less than two weeks after a 4.4-magnitude earthquake hit the area on March 17.

Advocates of an early warning system say a big quake is inevitable for California.

“Even if it’s a really short warning, a heads-up, it’s better than nothing,” said San Francisco resident Amie Zemlicka.

In 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation mandating a system, but funding was not provided. Dozens of lawmakers along the West Coast are calling for financing an early warning system. It is estimated it could cost about $82 million in the state of California.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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