Imperial County Funds Earthquake Early Warning

Imperial County Funds Earthquake Early Warning

YUMA, Arizona - A News Channel 3 / CBS Local 2 follow up on an earthquake early warning system already in development here in the Valley.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill supporting the use of an early earthquake system to be funded by a public / private partnership. 

Riverside County has failed to get the funds together as of yet.  Imperial County is now leading the way in earthquake early warning across California.

Eduardo Santiago from sister station KECY reports that this project has been in the works for years.

During the Easter earthquake in 2010, Imperial County was devastated.  Now officials are looking to implement a warning system that would warn emergency agencies when an earthquake is on the way.

Imperial County Fire Chief Tony Rouhotas explains...

"Basically they would have sensors located throughout the county that would initiate a warning to those sites prior to the actual shaking occurring of a 5.0 or larger earthquake."

Riverside County would receive a warning from Imperial County's sensors once the systems are in place.

"If these systems were to be linked throughout the areas of Southern California it would actually increase the amount of time of warning given prior to the earthquake happening."

Rouhotas says the system can give a warning from fifteen seconds up to a minute, allowing residents to get somewhere safe and prepare for any possible damage.

One question still pending is how residents would receive the warning from emergency services.

"We are going to be finding ways of increasing the knowledge to residents about set off warning signals and that stuff is going to be developed through time."

Rouhotas told the Imperial County board that one way could be using local media outlets.

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved a $250,000 grant for the project that they hope will be in place within three years.

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