California Has Earthquakes, Wildfires, Floods and Volcanoes

(TNS) - Margaret Mangan didn’t sleep well in the weeks following the Ridgecrest, Calif., earthquakes. The July shaking triggered a swarm of smaller tremors in the nearby Coso Volcanic Field, a cluster of lava domes and cinder cones at the northern end of the Mojave Desert. And it was Mangan’s job to watch for a possible eruption.

“We were pretty much on 24-7 vigilance,” said Mangan, the longtime scientist-in-charge of the U.S. Geological Survey’s California Volcano Observatory.

California Unveils New Earthquake Warning System

California governor Gavin Newsom announced a new state-wide system, created in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, that will provide California residents with an early warning for coming earthquakes. Part of the system is an emergency messaging system that sends text warnings, similar to those that cell phone users already get for floods and missing persons. The other component of the system is a new app called MyShake, which will give people “tens of seconds” advance notice before a quake strikes. If you are in a house, that might be enough time to get to a safe spot away from falling furniture. If you are on the road, it may be enough time to pull off the road or stop before a bridge or tunnel.

Should This Part of California Be Worried About Quakes?

(TNS) - This week marks 30 years since the massive 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area, killing 63 people, injuring nearly 4,000 and causing extensive damage that left thousands homeless.

Generally, people in this part of the state are not too concerned about quakes. Should they be?

Earthquakes, big and small, are a common occurrence in California. Residents hear reports of them all the time – most recently the 4.5 magnitude quake that hit near Pleasant Grove on Monday. The reports are usually just far enough away from the Yuba-Sutter area that residents tend to think things like that won’t happen here.

How Much Warning Time Will California’s Earthquake App Give?

(TNS) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is set to unveil the state's new earthquake early warning app, MyShake, at 11 a.m. Thursday, available on iOS and Android on the 30th anniversary of the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake. The announcement will be streamed live.

How much warning would MyShake have provided if an earthquake warning system were available in 1989?

California Earthquake Authority Policy Sales Spiked After Ridgecrest Quakes

The California Earthquake Authority gained 23,861 earthquake insurance policies following the magnitude 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes and aftershocks that struck on unnamed faults near Ridgecrest beginning on the July 4 holiday.

That’s the second-largest monthly net increase in the 23-year history of the CEA, a not-for-profit, privately funded, publicly managed organization.

ShakeAlertLA Works, but Residents Want Even More Notice

(TNS) — More than 500,000 people have downloaded Los Angeles County’s new ShakeAlertLA app to warn them of impending earthquakes.

So when the two strongest earthquakes in almost two decades hit Southern California this month, those residents were surprised by what they saw on their smartphones: nothing.

Officials were quick to explain to outraged app users that the shaking in the county wasn’t strong enough to trigger an alert.

Southern California Quakes Raise Interest in West Coast Warning System

The powerful Mojave Desert earthquakes that rocked California ended a years-long lull in major seismic activity and raised new interest in an early warning system being developed for the West Coast.

The ShakeAlert system is substantially built in California and overall is about 55% complete, with much of the remaining installation of seismic sensor stations to be done in the Pacific Northwest, said Robert de Groot of the U.S. Geological Survey.

An Earthquake’s Impact Can Be Predicted – But Only After it Hits

Over the next week, Southern California has only a 27% chance of experiencing a third earthquake greater than magnitude 6, but a 96% chance of going through a tremor of magnitude 5 or higher.

Those precise probabilities were generated by scientists at the United States Geological Survey (USGS), using models based on longstanding principles of seismic behavior and decades of data on aftershocks from earthquakes.

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