California's earthquake early warning system sends first public alert

California's earthquake early warning system sends first public alert

California's new statewide earthquake early warning system-- the MyShake app-- has sent out its first public alert on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. The warning was sent for M4.3 tremor that took place in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties, along the San Andreas fault, and 40 people received the alert that took 8.7 seconds to go out.

The quake was initially estimated at M4.8 according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data, which was high enough for the app to send the alert. The termor eventually registered at M4.3 on the Modified Mercalli scale.

The warning reached people in the town of Paso Robles, roughly 35 km (22 miles) away in enough time to give them about one second of warning.

However, that far away, the intensity dropped to two on the scale, hardly enough to cause noticeable damage.

According to reports, the quake was mild that no one called the fire department. 

"I didn’t see any damage or effects from the earthquake," said Chief Jonathan Stornetta.

If one stands near a powerful enough tremor, the warnings will come via the Wireless Emergency Alert System, or pushed via the MyShake app on iOS and Android.

The app was released publicly on October 18, 2019. It uses data provided by the USGS's backbone ShakeAlert system.

Featured image credit: @terimakasih0/Pixabay


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