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Earthquake Early Warning System To Be Tested In Long Beach

A seismograph (Photo by Cico/Shutterstock)
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In an effort to warn folks about potential earthquake disasters, Caltech and the U.S. Geological Survey announced today that they will be beta testing an earthquake early warning system on the city of Long Beach.

The California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) Earthquake Early Warning System (EEWS) aims to alert people ahead of time about impending earthquakes, according to NBC Los Angeles. The EEWS is expected to detect moderate to large earthquakes and notify people before a disastrous seismic wave spreads out from the epicenter. However, warning times will vary depending on how close people are to the epicenter of the temblors.

It would also give people enough time to find safety in case the big one hits. CBS Los Angeles reported:

Once the system is fully developed, the goal of the warnings is to give people time to take protective action to drop, cover and hold-on and grant businesses time to shut down and move workers to safe locations. It could also give medical professionals time to stop delicate procedures and could trigger automatic responses to safeguard critical infrastructure such as providing time for trains to slow or stop, for elevator doors to open, for bridge traffic to clear, for slowing or stopping traffic, and even stopping landings and take-offs at airports.
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"The earthquake early warning system provides the city with another tool, in addition to CERT classes to prepare residents and all-hazards training to prepare staff, in the event of a disaster or major emergency," Deputy City Manager Reginald Harrison told City News Service. "Once fully developed, this technology could literally save lives."

The EEWS won't cost the city of Long Beach a penny. CISN hopes that departments within the city will give feedback about the system during this testing period so they can make any corrections necessary.