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Feds donate $5M toward Calif. quake alert system

Posted: April 18, 2013 4:37 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2013 4:37 p.m.
 

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — California's prototype earthquake warning system is getting a $5 million boost from the federal government.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the funding in a statement Thursday. He says the money will go toward improving the system's capability.

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey and several universities have been developing the quake alert system for several years. The prototype only sends a test warning to select researchers and agencies after an earthquake. They're not broadcast to the public.

Supporters say having a few seconds' notice will allow people to duck under a table or allow trains to stop.

The price tag for a functional system is estimated at $80 million. Scientists say they would need to upgrade 400 monitoring stations and add 200 new ones to make the current system more reliable.

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