California allows public testing of earthquake warning app
California – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the state of California approved statewide public testing of the California Early Earthquake Warning System.
The system is powered by the USGS’s early warning alerts, called ShakeAlerts. These alerts will be delivered via the federal Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system, as well as through the University of California Berkeley’s MyShake app, and can provide seconds or even tens of seconds of warning before a user feels shaking from an earthquake.
ShakeAlerts will be delivered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, which currently delivers AMBER and weather alerts to cell phones. ShakeAlerts will be sent to people who could experience shaking from a magnitude 5 or greater earthquake, while the MyShake app will alert people to a magnitude 4.5 or greater earthquake.
This public testing phase will help increase the speed, reliability, and public use of ShakeAlerts as the USGS will closely monitor the system to identify opportunities for further developments.