According to scientists at the University of California at Berkeley, an earthquake early warning system operated successfully and was able to detect the quake ten seconds before the 6.0 quake hit on Sunday morning in Napa Valley.
Although ten seconds is not a lot of warning, according to the Los Angeles Times, California is working on a system that could be ready within a few years which will give downtown Los Angeles a 50-60-second warning that the “Big One” is coming. Notably, this would be enough time to slow down high speed trains so that they don’t sway off the track, provide time for elevators to stop at the next floor and open up, firefighters to open up their electric garage doors, citizens to move to a safer location.
They system would detect initial tremors and then alert early warning centers which in turn could broadcast on TVs, cell phones, radios and computers.
A lack of funds, however, has slowed the system’s progress. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) (D-Burbank) argues that the successful test by the scientists should motivate us to move forward on the funding of it.