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Earthquake preparedness: The US Geological Survey Announces New Warning System | News

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Beginning March 11, ShakeAlert-powered earthquake early warning alerts will be available for delivery directly to wireless devices in Oregon, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Carl Hagel and Pat McKissney, field engineers with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network team at the University of Washington, installed seismic equipment on the slopes of Mount St. Helens, with Mount Hood in the distance.

Courtesy of Mark Biondo

In May 2021, Washington state will follow suit and complete the ShakeAlert Public Alert across the entire West Coast. California enabled ShakeAlert alerts in October 2019.

As huge slabs of land fall and crush each other off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, many people may wonder when they will feel the ensuing earthquakes, according to the US Geological Survey, which cannot predict where and when future earthquakes will happen, but the office is on the side of a team. From organizations, he created a system to provide vital seconds of warning that an earthquake is imminent.

The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System is a network of sensors that collects and shares real-time information about the magnitude, location and vibration expected from earthquakes on the West Coast to distribution partners who then send alerts via mobile phones and the Internet. Partners can also initiate automatic protection measures such as stopping trains to prevent deviations and shutting water valves to protect the infrastructure.

ShakeAlert can save lives and reduce injuries by giving people time to take preventive measures, such as staying away from dangerous areas and making sure they fall, cover and continue, according to the USGS.

Oregon will be the second state to be “run” with ShakeAlert. California enacted the system on October 17, 2019. Washington State will activate the system in May, which will complete the deployment of wireless alert delivery across the entire continental west coast.

For more than two years, an increasing number of ShakeAlert technology partners in the three states have been using the ShakeAlert system to initiate automated actions in support of public safety. Although ShakeAlert is operating in all three states, the United States Geological Survey and its university and government partners are working to finish building a seismic network to support the immediate detection of earthquakes. The network is now 70% complete for the West Coast, with 1,132 out of 1,675 seismic stations installed as of January 31, 2021.

“The launch of the ShakeAlert Public Alert in the Pacific Northwest is a major milestone in the evolution of this critical system and has the potential to provide users with life-saving warnings seconds before they are exposed to harmful vibrations in future earthquakes,” Gavin Hayes of the USGS said. “This represents a major achievement for USGS, ANSS, and our regional and international partners.”

Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA) ShakeAlert demonstration in Washington

On Thursday, February 25 at 11 a.m. PST, the Washington Emergency Management Division (WEMD) and the US Geological Survey will jointly deliver the ShakeAlert-powered WEA Test Letter through FEMA’s Integrated Public Warning and Warning System over wireless devices at King, Pierce, and Thurston Counties. This test coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Niskwale earthquake on February 28, 2001, which was the most recent devastating earthquake in Washington.

Oregon-powered ShakeAlert alert delivery

Until March 11, Oregon, in collaboration with the US Geological Survey and other partners, will use various methods to announce the availability of alerts supported by ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System for delivery to wireless devices.

The delivery date coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Great Tohoku earthquake of magnitude 9.1 in Japan, which killed about 20,000 people, triggered a tsunami that spawned 132 feet high and caused the collapse of three nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. nuclear power station.

After traveling across the Pacific Ocean, the tsunami rose to more than 26 feet in Hawaii and more than 6.5 feet in California and Oregon, causing debris to rise on the Oregon coast. A task force of government and federal agencies, along with NGOs, worked together for three years to coordinate nearly 900 clean-up events, with an estimated 40,000 volunteers picking up more than 446,000 pounds of debris on the Oregon coast.

Delivery of alerts using the WEA system will begin on March 11, with a WEA bid for educational purposes planned for July 2021 to allow time for Oregon, the U.S. Geological Survey and partners to widely promote the system and effectively train the public on how to sign up for testing and participate in a statewide alert experience.

“Oregon is one of the most earthquake-prone regions in the continental United States, and over the years, we’ve seen many earthquakes – big and small,” said Althea Rizzo, Oregon GeoEmergency Program Coordinator. “Warning resources like ShakeAlert can help mitigate loss of life, severe injury, and devastating damage to infrastructure.”

ShakeAlert on social media

The various organizations’ social media accounts will share the latest updates and news about ShakeAlert in the Pacific Northwest using #ORShakeAlert and #WAShakeAlert. Visit these accounts to learn more:

USP @WashEMD on Twitter @WashEMD on Twitter @WashEMD on Twitter.

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