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Oregon officials provide more details about the new ShakeAlert earthquake warning system

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Comes in action March 11th, offering vital seconds for action

Salem, RAW (KTVZ) – What if you get a vibrating earthquake notification before it is felt at your location? The technology is already in place along the West Coast and is working for major infrastructure systems, such as automatic shutdown of water valves and standby generator startups.

ShakeAlert®, an earthquake early warning system powered by the United States Geological Survey, uses science and technology to quickly detect large earthquakes, so alerts can reach people before the shaking arrives.

These seconds of advance warning allow people and systems to take action to protect life and property from damaging vibrations, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management said Thursday in a press release that continues below:

In Oregon, ShakeAlert-supported alerts will begin to be delivered to wireless devices such as cell phones via the Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA), mobile apps, and other technologies beginning at 10am on March 11th. No specific action is required for WEA Alerts and for Android mobiles. One mobile app, QuakeAlertUSA, is currently available in Oregon.

March 11th coincides with the tenth anniversary of the M 9.1 Great Tohoku earthquake in Japan, which killed thousands and devastated cities. The Tohoku tsunami inundated coastal communities in Oregon, causing millions of dollars in damage. Like Japan, a subduction zone located off the coast of Oregon is capable of generating M 9.0 earthquakes.

“This amazing technology could save seconds or tens of seconds before an earthquake, not only ameliorating lost lives by giving people a chance to seek shelter, but also helping to drive a more efficient response,” said Andrew Phelps, director of the center. Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “The ability of first responders to take protective action for themselves and their equipment means more resources to help Oregonians, once the shaking stops.”

How it works

According to Robert de Groot, USGS ShakeAlert Coordinator for Communications, Education, Outreach, and Technical Engagement, ShakeAlert is a seismic sensor infrastructure within a regional network that is part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS), the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) and the California Network Integrated seismicity (CISN).

A network of seismic sensors across California, Oregon and Washington are constantly measuring Earth’s motion. They are sending this ground motion data to the ShakeAlert processing center operated by the USGS in Seattle, Washington; Pasadena, California; Or Menlo Park, California.

“When the sensor detects vibration, its fast action algorithms and an advanced grid will likely give you seconds of warning before the seismic wave hits your location,” said de Groot.

The algorithms take just a few seconds to perform the calculations and issue a ShakeAlert message containing information about the estimated magnitude and area of ​​earthquake shake.

The message is provided to ShakeAlert distribution partners such as facilities, hospitals, transportation systems, schools, emergency management agencies etc., producing and delivering alerts, thus enabling people to take preventive actions, such as fall / cover / wait.

In addition, ShakeAlert protects critical people and infrastructure by triggering automated actions such as closing water valves, starting support generators and making public announcements.

For a ShakeAlert message to be issued by the USGS, it takes at least four seismic sensors to detect the same ground motion.

what should be done

When you receive an alert, via a mobile device or another communications channel, drop it and cover it and hold it.

Put your place on your hands and knees – this position prevents you from falling over and allows you to stay low and crawl for cover if you are close. If there is no shelter nearby, crawl against an inner wall (away from the windows, and cover your head and neck with one arm and one hand; and if there is a sturdy table or desk nearby, crawl under it and hold it with one hand. If there is no table or desk near From you, maintain the crawling position to protect your vital organs and be prepared to move if necessary.Continue until the shaking stops.

Why check alert?

Oregon is one of the most earthquake-prone areas in the continental United States. Over the years, Oregon has been hit by a series of earthquakes, large and small. Small earthquakes.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 600-mile long fault that stretches from northern California to British Columbia and is located about 70-100 miles off the coast of the Pacific Coast.

Oregon has the potential for an M 9.0+ earthquake due to the Cascadia subduction zone and the resulting 100-foot tsunami that will affect the coastal region. There have been 41 earthquakes in the past 10,000 years along this rift, and they are only 190 years or 1,200 years apart. The last M-9.0 earthquake (estimated) to occur in this fault was on January 26, 1700.

Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, at any time of the year. Any and all preventive or warning resources can help mitigate loss of life, severe injury, and devastating damage to infrastructure.

“The past 12 months have been exceptional, especially for us here in Oregon,” said director Phelps. One of the biggest findings from our experiences with catastrophic floods, global pandemic control, deadly and destructive historic wildfires, and the latest severe winter storm is that there are things we can do as individuals, families, and communities to reduce our risks and reduce the impact of these disasters.

“Avoiding flood waters, wearing a mask, listening to evacuation warnings, creating a space that can be defended and preparing for the worst, makes us less vulnerable. So does the early warning of earthquakes.”

The ShakeAlert system was developed by the US Geological Survey, West Coast University Alliance, and state partners, including the University of Oregon, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, and the Oregon Division of Geology and Mineral Industries.

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