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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Earthquake Apps Will Soon Be Available for Smartphones

Posted By on Thu, May 8, 2014 at 7:10 AM

click to enlarge LAURA ANTHONY, ABC7, TWITTER
  • Laura Anthony, ABC7, Twitter

Anyone who grows up in California gets accustomed to constant, omnipresent warnings that "The Big One" is eventually coming -- the same way other kids might hear about the Bogey Man.

In California, "The Big One" is the next earthquake that ranks 4.0 or greater on the Richter Scale, when either the San Andreas or Hayward Fault gives way.

It happened once in 1989, when a 6.9 tremor disrupted a monumental World Series game, and razed the Cypress freeway. And it happened in Los Angeles five years later, when a 6.7 quake left 57 dead and 5,000 injured, and produced ferocious aftershocks.

Now, California's Office of Emergency Services has teamed up with the U.S. Geological Survey to launch a state-wide emergency warning system, which would herald the next big quake seconds or minutes before it happens. It would reach consumers via a smartphone app.

But according to various reports the app needs about $80 million to proceed , and the state doesn't have that much money in its coffers.

California is currently looking for private companies to help bankroll the state-wide network of sensors. Evidently, countries like Japan and Mexico have had early warning systems in place for years. As a self-proclaimed "Earthquake Country," California has little excuse for falling behind the curve.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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