LOCAL NEWS

Earthquake warning system takes step forward; still underfunded

Apr 10, 2017, 5:32 AM | Updated: 9:27 am

The early-warning system that will, once complete, alert the public prior to a strong earthquake is taking a big step forward. “Version 1.2” of the system will allow early adopters to develop pilot implementations that will “pave the way for broader use.”

16 years after Nisqually quake: Are we ready for the ‘Big One’?

“This is an important milestone,” said Doug Given, the USGS National Earthquake Early Warning Coordinator. “The Pacific Northwest is moving from the demonstration stage to a production prototype. That’s important because it will allow selected pilot users to start doing limited application that uses the alerts and takes tangible actions.”

For anyone worried about an earthquake the likes of which we’ve never seen before, that should be somewhat comforting news. An early-warning system could provide several seconds, or even a minute or two before damaging shaking begins. And that’s all the time you need to at least get under a desk.

But don’t expect the warning system to be available in your phone’s app store anytime soon.

In a press release, USGS estimated it will cost $38.3 million in capital investment to complete the system. That is in addition to current funding to support the earthquake monitoring networks, according to the USGS.

Given says the State of California has allocated $10 million “this fiscal year” to build out monitoring stations and provide training and education. Oregon has given about $1 million worth of equipment to the cause.

That still leaves the system underfunded, especially because that assumed $8.2 million in federal funding this year is — as many things are at the moment — up in the air.

“So it’s kind of complicated,” Given said.

He wouldn’t go into specifics on the federal budget.

“Being an employee of the executive branch, there’s not a lot I can say about the budget,” he said.

But others have expressed their concern.

Eric Holdeman, director of the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience, recently told us that while he doesn’t believe the Trump administration would ignore the West Coast in the event of a natural disaster, it is in the realm of possibility for the federal government to consider cuts to preparation funding.

“Whether it’s buying equipment, doing training, doing disaster exercises like the ‘Cascadia Rising’ that was held last June — those are the funds that conceivably could be in jeopardy depending on what the administration chooses to do,” Holdeman said.

The USGS estimates it will take about $16 million a year to run the system on the West Coast once it is fully operational. It could see at least limited public use by 2018.

“It will be a benefit to society,” Given said.

Let’s just hope the “Big One” holds off until it’s ready.

Local News

vaccine, booster doses...
MyNorthwest Staff

Booster doses of COVID vaccines available in Washington for eligible individuals

Booster doses of all three COVID-19 vaccine types are now available for certain individuals in Washington, and can be safely mixed and matched.
16 hours ago
salmon hatchery...
Dalton Day

Potential ‘irreparable damage’ to Puget Sound orcas over alleged illegal salmon hatchery expansion

Conservationists allege that Fish and Wildlife has expanded salmon hatcheries without lawful compliance under SEPA, thereby damaging native salmon and orca whales.
16 hours ago
seattle relief fund...
Kathryn Altena

Mayor launches Seattle Relief Fund to help families impacted by COVID

Seattle city leaders announced the launch of a new relief fund Monday to help struggling families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
16 hours ago
unemployment...
MyNorthwest Staff

State recovers $495,000 in stolen unemployment benefits with ‘innovative’ legal strategy

For the first time, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has used asset forfeiture to repossess $495,000 in fraudulent unemployment claims.
16 hours ago
Washington Daylight Saving Time...
Nick Bowman

Washington looks for ‘alternative’ paths to end years-long wait for permanent Daylight Saving Time

With the state setting their clocks back again on Nov. 7, Sen. Murray says her office is ramping up work to end the twice-yearly time changes.
16 hours ago
Seattle shootings, downtown...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle police looking into series of reported shootings from over the weekend

The Seattle Police Department is investigating a series of reported shootings that took place across the city over the weekend. 
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Earthquake warning system takes step forward; still underfunded