Eagle Rock High School becomes 1st in CA with earthquake warning system

EAGLE ROCK, Calif. (KABC) -- Eagle Rock High School is the first public school in California to get a new type of early earthquake warning system.

The hard-wired earthquake early warning system interfaces with the school's public announcement system to reach students, teachers and staff at the same time.

The system will trigger the warning whenever a quake is expected to cause, at the very least, light shaking that could be felt indoors.

Los Angeles Unified School District executive emergency strategist Jill Barnes said, "With this, because it actually feels the first of the two waves and send out that alert, we're able to get people to drop, cover, and hold on before the shaking even starts."

Early Warning Labs designed the technology in partnership with the United States Geological Survey for commercial use.

It's already installed in elevators, high rises, private schools and the L.A. Metro.

Josh Bashioum, CEO of Early Warning Labs, said, "Let's say you were riding the L.A. Metro during the big earthquake. Our system, if that earthquake was 50, 100 miles closer to L.A., our system would have triggered the staff to slow and stop all the trains in L.A. And that's the integration that we have available today."

The system also calculates the intensity and warning time for a specific customer.

"We forecast the shaking for here. We don't do it over a wide area, an average. We do it very specific, for the end user, because the shaking intensity can be much different like we saw in this most recent event," said Bashioum.

Two additional LAUSD schools will receive the system as part of a pilot program over the next few months.
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