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ShakeAlert—An earthquake early warning system for the United States west coast

August 29, 2014

Earthquake early warning systems use earthquake science and the technology of monitoring systems to alert devices and people when shaking waves generated by an earthquake are expected to arrive at their location. The seconds to minutes of advance warning can allow people and systems to take actions to protect life and property from destructive shaking. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with several partners, has been working to develop an early warning system for the United States. ShakeAlert, a system currently under development, is designed to cover the West Coast States of California, Oregon, and Washington.