Oregon's ShakeAlert Earthquake Warning System Approved for State Funding

Aug 11, 2020

The legislature approved $7.5 million to fund Oregon’s ShakeAlert system during their one-day special session Monday. The earthquake early warning system could give people precious seconds to escape an earthquake.

 

ShakeAlert uses seismic sensors in the ground to detect quakes and their epicenters moments after they occur.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

In an Oregonian op-ed, two experts on natural disaster said the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic pale in comparison to the devastation that could be wrought by a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake.

 

University of Oregon Earth Sciences Professor Douglas Toomey, said Oregon lawmakers earlier this year talked about investing state money into ShakeAlert, the West coast’s early warning system. But a climate legislation walkout left it untouched.

 

“Part of the reason to write the op-ed is to make the public and our legislators aware that this is a system that helps us prepare for natural disasters,” said Toomey. “Investment now will allow us to complete the buildout of ShakeAlert over the next couple of years and hopefully rollout the system to the public.”

 

Lawmakers approved 7.5 million dollars toward ShakeAlert funding Monday. This will increase the number of seismic sensors to meet federal standards. 

 

Copyright KLCC, 2020.