ShakeAlert System Now Active for Mobile Phones in 3 States | Ap
When an earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone hits under the Pacific Ocean, it will shake much of the west coast.
The US Geological Survey and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network on Tuesday finished releasing a new early warning system that can notify mobile phone users around the state that the tremors are about to begin.
This system, called ShakeAlert, has been in development for 15 years, according to a press release. A prototype was released in 2016 and the system went into service for California in 2019 and Oregon in March. Now available in Washington state, the ShakeAlert system is online for more than 50 million people in the country’s most earthquake-prone region.
Mobile phone data will automatically inform users of the trajectory of an earthquake as long as device settings are set to allow emergency alerts, public safety alerts, and public safety messages.
How it works?
The ShakeAlert program relies on real-time data from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Station sensors across the region.
As the seismic waves that create the tremors during an earthquake propagate, they are picked up by seismic stations located in public spaces such as schools and city-owned buildings. This data is fed into the USGS National Advanced Seismic System.
ShakeAlert technology can also be used to automate systems such as slowing train speeds to reduce the risk of derailment, opening fire station doors to ensure emergency response can occur and closing valves to reduce leaks if gas or water lines are damaged, the statement said.
The ShakeAlert system will continue to improve as new sensors, called seismometers, are added to the network. One of these sensors is being installed at Conway School in Mount Vernon, Washington, an hour north of Seattle.
Superintendent Jeff Cravy said the Conway School Board approved the placement of the sensor at their April 26 meeting. It will be the 13th seismometer monitored by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network in Skagit County, according to the network’s website.
The sensors may not look like much – “It’s basically a 20 x 20 box that sits in our communication room,” Cravy said – but they can provide valuable information before a disaster strikes. natural does not occur.
For Conway students, the newest seismometer could also provide local data from which to learn.
âOur hope is to use the website with information specific to Conway as well as some surrounding places to do science activities,â Cravy said.