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Public Officials Support Berkeley’s Earthquake Warning System


– The objective of this
meeting was always to raise the profile of
earthquake early warning, and talk about what is it we need to do to implement a public early
warning system in this state. Then of course the Napa
earthquake occurred just a week before this event, so now the spotlight is
really on this topic, and so we’re really
hoping to make progress. We have been demonstrating
that early earthquake warning is feasible
for more than two years at this point, with our
demonstration early warning system. But what we were lacking
was the sort of focus to bring the political world to play to actually fund the system
and actually do this right. The system uses an array of seismometers across California that rapidly detect the beginnings of earthquake,
locate the earthquakes, and then push out a warning
ahead of the shaking. So we need the public investment to make that system more
robust, a little bit faster, because it can be still faster, and then to educate the public about how to use the warnings. Every single person will get a warning a few seconds before earthquakes. Train systems can be slowed and stopped, reducing the amount of damage. Elevator doors can be opened. We can reduce the impact
of future earthquakes, both in terms of dollars lost, and in terms of lives saved. – This is only the 10th day
anniversary of the Napa quake. Just the latest reminder,
thankfully not a too tragic one, but the latest reminder of the urgency with which we need to act in California to deploy an earthquake
early warning system to help protect Californians. That’s our bottom line. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be
here after the next big one wondering why we didn’t deploy the system when the technology already existed. – You talk to the public, to the common person on the street who’s sitting there looking at government, looking at business,
looking at relationships, and you mention this to them. What’s the first thing
that comes to their minds? It’s gonna be, “And we’re
not doing that today? Why? Why are we not? What’s
standing in the way?” They expect us to find solutions, and they expect us to find the funding. – I also want to express my
appreciation to all of you. The leaders in this field, the experts. The ones that are on the ground, the ones responsible
for the implementation and the application of this ideal. It’s long overdue. It’s past time. No more conversation. It’s a question now of political will. Money is always the excuse. Political will is what’s lacking. This is about real people, human beings, real lives at stake, fundamental responsibility of government. – These life and death things, you simply can’t wait for others. Five, 10 seconds today, with your help, and your science, can you imagine what that
does to a fire station? To immediately open up their doors so that those doors are open in response. Can you imagine a doctor, or doctors, with scalpels in their
hands, ready to operate, and getting early warning
notice to delay that action because the ground is
moving his or her patient? – Based on all of your
work, we are formulating a capability to be able to
deliver earthquake alerts to the public at large, to businesses. It’s, in essence, one
of the most tremendous hazard mitigation programs
that we could implement. – We have identified
earthquake early warning, and earthquake science, as a
high priority within the US. And we are making some
significant progress in being able to describe
and promote that priority within the Department of the Interior, the Office of Management and Budget, and within our Oversight and
Appropriations committees. Your goals are our goals, and your plan is our plan. – It was really great to see the lineup of the political figures who were here participating
in the meeting, all talking about possible
ways of getting the funding. We really think that
there’s a chance that we can actually make this happen,
following this meeting, following this earthquake. And the question becomes, if we can’t make this happen
after this earthquake, what is it going to take?

David Frank

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