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California moves forward with earthquake early warning system


Narrator:       This is Science Today. The state of California will be moving forward with the creation of a statewide earthquake early warning system. Richard Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and a professor of earth and planetary science at the University of California, Berkeley, was one of the state's major proponents of such a system. Allen explains the value of having even just a few seconds of advance warning before a quake.

Allen:             A few seconds is not long, but it's enough time to get underneath a sturdy table or get to a safe zone if you're working in a hazardous environment. It's enough time for transportation systems to start to slow and stop. You could prevent prevents planes from landing during the course of an earthquake. And then if you're working in a chemical factory or a factory that has sensitive machinery, you can put things into a hold state, so that you'll have less damage and less casualties during an earthquake.

Narrator:       Now that the law is on the books, the state's Governor's Office of Emergency Services must coordinate construction and identify funding for the project. Allen vows that he and his team of researchers will do all they can do to make this happen. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.