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Governor signs Calif. quake warning system bill, AP

Gov. Brown signs bill to develop California earthquake early warning system



LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday ordered creation of a statewide earthquake early warning system that could give millions of Californians a few precious seconds of warning before a powerful temblor strikes.

The bill signed into law Tuesday directs the Office of Emergency Services to develop the system and identify sources of funding for it by January 2016. The system is expected to cost about $80 million to build and run for five years. The money cannot come from state general funds and the law doesn't specifically address alternatives, such as federal money or private sector partnerships.

"We need to develop this system without delay," said a statement from Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, who sponsored Senate Bill 135. "California is going to have an earthquake early warning system, the question is whether we have one before or after the next big quake."

Early warning systems are designed to detect the first, fast-moving shock wave from a large earthquake, calculate the strength and alert people before the slower but damaging waves spread. The U.S. has lagged behind Mexico, Japan and other quake-prone countries in developing a system that can detect a rupturing fault and provide enough time for trains to brake, cars to pull off roads, utilities to shut off gas lines and people to dive under tables and desks. ...more
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Reuters 
The tsunami-devastated Miyako in Iwate prefecture, is pictured in this combination photo taken March 23, 2011 (top) and September 6, 2013, released by Kyodo on September 7, 2013, ahead of the two-and-a-half-year anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Mandatory Credit. REUTERS/Kyodo 
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