Trump proposal would cut funding for earthquake early warning system

WASHINGTON (KABC) -- President Donald Trump's budget would get rid of federal funding for an earthquake early warning system that has been created for California and other West Coast states.

This elimination of funds would likely end the U.S. Geological Survey's efforts to implement the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system.

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The system, being built with the help of several major universities, needs at least 40 to 50 more people to install more sensors to gather additional data.

New hires would also maintain equipment, as well as monitor the computer systems. Without federal funding, work halts.

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The early alert system needs a little more than $16 million a year to operate and almost $40 million to build it. In the last few years, lawmakers in Washington and Sacramento have thrown in money to develop it.

Earlier on Thursday, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti tweeted out a reminder to be prepared after Malibu's small earthquake.

There has been no reason given for the elimination, and that is making some Southern Californians uneasy.

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"The fact that the big one is on its way - which everyone agrees with - we need that advance warning," said Stephanie, a Santa Monica resident.
The budget also says it would eliminate U.S. funding for critical tsunami-monitoring stations in oceans and a volcano early warning system in high-threat areas of the U.S.

Dr. Lucy Jones of Caltech said eliminating the $10 million a year the government has been spending would stop the program and waste the $23 million that has already been invested.

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