Shake maps illustrate need for earthquake preparation, scientist says

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 08:40AM
Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones outlined the need for earthquake preparedness and preparation for other natural disasters on this edition of Eyewitness Newsmakers.


LOS ANGELES - Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones outlined the need for earthquake preparedness and preparation for other natural disasters on this edition of Eyewitness Newsmakers.

Now retired from the U.S. Geological Survey, Dr. Jones remains a public voice for earthquake science through her Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society.

On Newsmakers, Dr. Jones walked viewers through a series of shake maps for Southern California, using the scenario of a 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas fault.

With an early warning system, it would send an alert of up to two minutes to cellphones. That's enough time to stop critical movement such as trains, elevators and operations. The West Coast warning system and the global tsunami system was cut from the Trump administration budget, but a bipartisan effort in Congress is likely to restore it.

"I consider... using science to make better warning systems to be a fundamental obligation of government," said Dr. Jones.

She is advising government on earthquake retrofittings on older buildings, as well as what to do for water and natural gas after a large temblor. All supply pipes and aqueducts cross the San Andreas fault line and they will "all break at once." Dr. Jones said efforts to bring groundwater back to the Valley could supply some of the region's needs.

The calming voice known to so many as "the earthquake lady" said though she is retired, she will come back for the "big ones" to lend her perspective.
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