Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the launch of ShakeAlertLA, the nation’s first publicly available earthquake early warning mobile application. The launch fulfilled his 2017 promise to launch the app by the end of 2018.
“Angelenos should have every chance to protect themselves and their families when there’s a major earthquake,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We created the ShakeAlertLA app because getting a few seconds’ heads-up can make a big difference if you need to pull to the side of the road, get out of an elevator, or drop, cover, and hold on.”
ShakeAlertLA is a pilot project, in collaboration with the US Geological Survey (USGS), AT&T and The Annenberg Foundation, to combine the USGS ShakeAlert earthquake early warning sensor network with mobile app technology. By expanding public use, the City of Los Angeles and its partners will be closely monitoring the ShakeAlertLA app to continue to improve its functionality and identify opportunities for further technological development. The L.A.-based pilot is a crucial step towards delivering ShakeAlerts to the entire West Coast.
The application launched on the Apple and Google Play stores on December 31, 2018, following more than a decade of research and development led by the USGS. The app has undergone extensive testing and has shown promising results, which will be improved with this rollout.
ShakeAlertLA is a breakthrough step toward achieving an earthquake early warning network across California and eventually the entire west coast. It was designed to be open source in an effort to share technical know-how and increase adoption by other cities, counties, and states seeking to develop similar apps. Federal government funding will help to expand the reach of this potentially life-saving technology.
Since 2006, the USGS has been developing its ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system with a coalition of collaborators for the entire west coast of the US. In California, ShakeAlert collaborators include the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Caltech, UC Berkeley, the California Geological Survey, and University of Nevada, Reno.
ShakeAlert can provide users with critical seconds of warning that an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent. Alerts are issued when an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 or larger is detected by a regional sensor network and shaking is expected to be felt in the Los Angeles area. Nevertheless, a limitation in any early warning system is distance from the epicenter. The further a user is from the epicenter of an earthquake, the greater the warning a ShakeAlert user may receive — inversely, a user who is located closer to the epicenter may receive less warning.
To learn more about ShakeAlert, click here.
Download the ShakeAlert app today: