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We are making a big leap forward in terms of focusing attention on prevention we are not seeing the nation's first comprehensive early alert system for earthquakes we're now seeing the ability for millions and millions of Californians to download an app my check science reporter Daniel Benton joins us to explain this news system and Danielle how does it work so there is a network of sensors in the ground and they can detect shaking and computer models then predicts the area over which that shaking is going to be felt and that a warning can be sent out I spoke to Emory batei at the US Geological Survey she's one of the scientists working on the system and she stressed it's not able to predict quakes but after one starts the system can give one to two seconds if you're really close to the epicenter or up to say thirty seconds of warning if you're farther away the more distance from the source the more warning time and we can rapidly detect the earthquake and started and we rapidly and determine the location at the bank and then we take advantage of the fact that the information can travel much faster than the shaking waves travel so the idea then is to send an alert over the internet or radio or broadcast that information and she said can travel a lot faster than the seismic waves can and so this can give people just a little bit of warning before the shaking arrives to drop cover and hold on or say slow train that they're operating or take steps to make themselves a little safer and Danielle Japan and Mexico have had early warning systems for earthquakes for awhile now Howard their systems different than this one so their systems work a little differently because they deal with earthquakes and faults that are off shore and they have more time to spread the warning because that the epicenter is farther away this system is more advanced for the more delicate and complicated because we actually live it right on top of the faults that cause earthquakes in our area and Daniel you have looked back at Loma Prieta and I'm I'm wondering what science has learned from that earthquake that helps is going to help us prepare for the next one yeah the data that we got from the Loma Prieta earthquake was really valuable because it was the first big quake to hit the bay area since the nineteen oh six quake and it was a huge wake up call it really revealed where the bay area was vulnerable in particular areas built on in Phil or sand such as San Francisco's marina district or the bay bridge or the Cyprus street viaduct in the East Bay there were on the grounds that amplified the shaking and they were too much much more vulnerable to destruction so after that QuakeCon Congress put tens of millions of dollars insist into studying the quake and what seismologists learn then went into building codes and so buildings roads hospitals have been rebuilt or retro fitted to be much steadier these days up there still work to do of course but overall we're in much better shape now than we were in the late eighties okay thanks so much done now thank.

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