California's earthquake early warning system sees major funding in Congressional spending bill

Shaking from a 3.5-magnitude earthquake is seen on the ABC7 Quake Cam on Friday, June 13, 2014.

The U.S. Geological Survey's West Coast earthquake warning system received a major funding increase in Congress' latest spending bill.

The $1.3 trillion spending bill signed by President Donald Trump last week to avert a government shutdown secured $22.9 million for ShakeAlert, the West Coast earthquake early warning system.

"The system will not only help protect infrastructure and businesses, but also prevent injuries and save lives across California, Oregon and Washington," said Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a major player in providing funding for the early warning system.

The funding includes nearly $13 million for continued development of the system and a one-time investment of $10 million for costs associated with more build-out of the system, including new sensors and equipment.

The system is meant to identify earthquakes on the West Coast and warn people ahead of time of possible shakes that could cause harm.

"The significant funding provided in the bill will help ensure that the West Coast has a functioning earthquake early warning system in the near future," said Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona), another advocate of the earthquake early warning system.

The funding comes in spite of a proposal from the Trump administration, which would have cut more than $10 million for the earthquake early warning program in its 2019 budget proposal.
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