California Lawmakers Call for Earthquake Alert Funding

By Associated Press
|  Thursday, Apr 3, 2014  |  Updated 5:50 PM PDT
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California Lawmakers Call for Quake Alert Funding

AP

A car sits overturned on a highway in the Carbon Canyon area of Brea, Calif., Friday night, March 28, 2014, after hitting a rock slide caused by an earthquake. The people inside the car sustained minor injuries. A magnitude-5.1 earthquake centered in the area near Los Angeles caused no major damage but jittered nerves throughout the region as dozens of aftershocks struck into the night. (AP Photo/Kevin Warn)

Two dozen U.S. lawmakers from California, Washington and Oregon are calling for funding of an earthquake warning system designed to give residents a few seconds of notice of imminent shaking after a quake occurs.

An alert system exists in Japan, Mexico and several other quake-prone countries.

The West Coast representatives sent a letter Thursday to the Appropriations Committee calling for $16 million a year to build, operate and maintain an alert system.

The move comes days after a magnitude-5.1 quake rattled the greater Los Angeles region. The shaking caused scattered damage, but no serious injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey has partnered with three universities to test a prototype warning system. The system can't predict earthquakes and people at the epicenter won't get any warning, but those farther away could benefit.

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