This app will warn you before an earthquake hits the West Coast

By | 26/10/2022




is an earthquake early warning (EEW) organization that detects meaning earthquakes then quickly that alerts tin reach many people before shaking arrives. ShakeAlert is non convulsion prediction, rather a ShakeAlert Message indicates that an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent.

What is ShakeAlert?
– A brusk video about ShakeAlert and how it works [four.5 min]. (English or Castilian).

Follow Us on Twitter: @USGS_ShakeAlert

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of Country and academy partners implemented Phase 3 of operations of the ShakeAlert®
Convulsion Early on Alarm System for the West Coast of the U.s.. Many partnerships to apply ShakeAlert in accurate environments such as utilities, hospitals, transportation systems, and educational environments are agile today and more are being developed. In
2022and beyond, the USGS and its partners volition continue to expand these applications in coordination with country agencies in Washington, Oregon, and California.

The principal projection partners include:

  • Usa Geological Survey
  • California Governor’south Part of Emergency Services (Cal OES)
  • California Geological Survey
  • California Constitute of Technology
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of Washington
  • University of Oregon
  • ETH Zurich (SED)
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

The Earthquake Threat

Earthquakes pose a national claiming because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of pregnant seismic risk across 39 states. Nigh of our Nation’s earthquake take a chance is full-bodied on the West Coast of the Usa. Federal Emergency Direction Agency (FEMA)  has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $half dozen.i billion, with 73% of that figure ($four.5 billion) coming from Washington, Oregon, and California, and 61% ($iii.7 billion) from California lonely. In the next 30 years, California has a chance of a magnitude or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10% take chances of a magnitude 8 to nine megathrust convulsion on the Cascadia subduction zone.

Part of the Solution

Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so rapidly, that an alarm can reach some areas before stiff shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and narrate an earthquake a few seconds subsequently information technology begins, calculate the likely intensity of footing shaking that volition result, and make alerts bachelor for delivery to people and infrastructure in impairment’south manner. This can be done by detecting the first free energy to radiate from an earthquake, the Primary (P) wave free energy, which rarely causes impairment.

Using P-moving ridge information, ShakeAlert first estimates the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. And so, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to exist affected is estimated and an alert is made available for commitment to devices that will initiate automated actions and people who will be prompted to take an action such every bit Drib, Cover, and Hold On. The method tin can provide alert before the Secondary (South)-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes nearly of the damage.

Studies in Washington, Oregon, and California take shown that the alarm time would range from seconds to tens of seconds. ShakeAlert-powered alerts delivered past alarm distribution partners could give plenty time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to forbid cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to accept cover under a desk-bound, or to automatically shut downwards and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions earlier shaking starts tin reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can likewise preclude cascading failures in the aftermath of an upshot. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.For every earthquake, there is a region near the epicenter where alerts will not arrive before shaking begins because the ShakeAlert system needs time to discover the earthquake, issue an alert, and for USGS partners to distribute the alarm

ShakeAlert System Goal

The USGS will result ShakeAlert Messages to facilitate the delivery of public alerts of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter information to regime agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, every bit shortly as the ShakeAlert organization, its products, and its parametric data see minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS began the testing of public notification in California in October of 2019 through the Wireless Emergency Alert system (WEA) and jail cell phone apps. ShakeAlert expanded the testing of public alerting to mobile devices to Oregon in March 2021 and Washington in May 2021.

Current Status

In the fall of 2018 the West Declension ShakeAlert system became sufficiently functional and tested to begin Phase i of alerting in California, Oregon, and Washington. Several of the xl+ commercial and institutional users are alerting personnel and taking automated actions; an important step in a strategy of phased roll out leading to total public operation.

ShakeAlert partners are working with both public and private mass alert system operators including FEMA, cellular carriers, mass notification companies, and others to provide broader public alerting. The USGS and its partners are working on a comprehensive education and training program to so that the public knows reply to alerts when they are received.

In add-on to these Phase ane implementations, technical improvements to the ShakeAlert system are as well part of the story. The sensor network has reached target density in the Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay and Seattle metro regions and version 2.0 of the ShakeAlert product system has been deployed. This version of the ShakeAlert system is produces both point source and line source earthquake solutions, has added ground motion estimation products,  and the number of false and missed events has been reduced. ShakeAlert arrangement version 2.0 has too satisfied government cybersecurity requirements and includes improved operational procedures.

The ShakeAlert organisation is existence adult past expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Avant-garde National Seismic Arrangement (ANSS), the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) and the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN). CISN is made upwards of the Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System (NCSS). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for convulsion monitoring activities residing in these network centers.


The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and upshot public notifications under the regime of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. ii.

For More than Data:

Robert de Groot

Coordinator for Communication, Didactics, Outreach, and Technical Engagement

Follow ShakeAlert on Twitter: @USGS_ShakeAlert

Learn more about EEW Research

ShakeAlert Revised Technical Implementation Plan (2018)