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ShakeAlert Messages Will Warn West Coast Of Earthquakes

A new early warning system, called ShakeAlert, will use cell phones to alert people in California, Oregon, and Washington of an earthquake. The alerts come from sensors from the USGS seismic system. Once the sensors pick up movement, a message is sent immediately to the surrounding area. Quakes travel through the Earth at about 0.5 to 3 mph. The alerts could be received seconds before the earthquake hits. These mere seconds could be lifesaving. It’s extra time for people to take protective actions like drop, cover, and hold on. Alerts can be sent to structures, too, to reduce the chances that damage in buildings, trains, and utilities will harm people.

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