Monday, February 8, 2010

Scientists close to Earthquake Warning System (Using Technology to Save Life)

The UC Berkeley scientists said 'A closer quake might mean only a few seconds of warning, but could still be enough for people to take shelter - possibly saving lives to sound an alarm for 'a full 60 seconds before the shaking starts'.

"Early warning networks are already operating in other countries where earthquakes are common, and we know that in a densely populated region like the Bay Area, even a few seconds of warning could save many lives when a big one hits," Richard Allen, associate director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and leader of the project said.

The highly advanced warning system is based on complicated computer algorithms known as ElarmS, short for Earthquake Alarms Systems.

Eventually the alarm system could tell dispatchers to halt trains, alert fire stations and ambulances, send warnings to home computers and trigger warning tones to every individual mobile phone in the area, Allen said.

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