Earthquake Warning System Possible: Experts

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2011  |  Updated 2:14 PM PDT
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Earthquake Warning System Possible: Experts

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Seismologists say an earthquake early warning system helped save lives in Japan, and are urging completion of a similar system in California and the West Coast.

After a meeting at the University of California, Berkeley, the country's top seismologists said on Tuesday work on an early warning system for California has been ongoing for a decade, but is still unfinished.

Quake expert Richard Allen of UC Berkeley says it will take about $80 million and five years to finish California's system.                 

Doug Given of the U.S. Geological Survey said he hoped it did not take a killer quake to spur action on a system.

The system works by detecting weaker waves, known as primary waves, which travel faster and can be measured earlier than the more powerful secondary waves.

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