OH, CALM DOWN… We note that there was a presser March 13 announcing that the beta-test of an earthquake early-warning system had been a success during the 4.7 temblor (I love that word) that shook the desert in California’s Riverside County, ironically, on Monday, the second anniversary of Japan’s humongous 9.0 on 3.11.2011. Experts told a reporter from the L.A. Times that the system would give scientists “up to 30 seconds” warning of an impending quake. “Scientists”? What about us? [LAT ~ Earthquake early-warning system successful during quake]
Monday, the local news in L.A. was airing comments of those who experienced the strongest shaking: “I just grabbed my baby and ran out of the house!,” one woman said. A teacher at a local elementary school recounted proudly how she directed her students to huddle in a doorway. <Buzzer Sounds> Sorry, contestants. You lose!
Japan has had an early warning system in place since 2007. The program alerted some 50 million residents ahead of the Fukushima earthquake in 2011. Yeah, but what do you do when it’s a 9.0? Reminds me of those Cold War era drop drills in case of a nuclear war.
According to a Japanese study, residents of tsunami vulnerable Tohoku region had between 10 and 19 minutes warning to evacuate to higher ground. The same study compiled with UNESCO found that 90% of the nearly 19,000 who died on 3.11 drowned, and that ~ and here’s the kicker ~ 70% of those who were swept away by the sea that day did not bother to evacuate. [Japan-UNESCO-UNU Intl Symposium ~ Great Eastern Tsunami and The Tsunami Warning Systems: Policy Perspective ~Rachel Roh