Tag Archives: earthquake

Earthquake Warning System: Now in Los Angeles!

Because seismic waves are slower than internet signals, it’s possible to send an alert after an earthquake starts, but before the shaking reaches you. A few seconds’ warning is enough to pull over to the side of the road, climb down from a ladder, step away from a high shelf or window, put down a scalpel, etc.

Mexico and Japan both have systems like this, and Los Angeles has launched a pilot program with apps for both Android and iOS.

California Earthquake Alerts “Falling Into Place”

KQED reports: Pieces Finally Falling Into Place for Earthquake Warnings in California

We still can’t predict them, but data is faster than seismic waves, so we can give people away from the epicenter a few seconds of warning.

That’s enough to pull your car over, put down a scalpel, climb down from a ladder, get away from a rickety building or under a sturdy desk, etc. The tech is credited with saving lives in last fall’s Mexico City earthquake.

Recycling the News

The practice of recycling old news articles still throws me off at times. For instance: here are two recent LA Times articles using big disasters as springboards to talk about possible giant earthquake scenarios in California. They start out talking about the Houston flooding from Harvey and yesterday’s quake in Mexico, then segue into Los Angeles disaster planning. By the end, they’ve segued into the same text. I was reading today’s and thinking, “I just read this, recently.” A ten-second search turned up the older article.

It’s not plagiarism. It’s the same reporter at the same newspaper. It’s basically the equivalent of stock footage, and it’s hardly the only example. It’s probably not even a new practice, just a lot easier to find now that everything’s online and searchable.

No Earthquake Watch

The heat wave has people freaking out again…

There is no such thing as an “earthquake watch.” Unlike tornadoes and hurricanes, they strike without warning and cannot be predicted (so far). There’s also no such thing as “earthquake weather”…and I say this as a lifelong Californian.