Security & Business Resilience

UC Berkeley System Gave 10 Second Warning of South Napa Earthquake

August 25, 2014
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Ten seconds before the South Napa Earthquake struck, UC Berkeley’s ShakeAlert detected the quake.

The university’s early warning project is intended to give residents a heads-up before an earthquake strikes and damage occurs.

To predict the quakes, scientists use a sensor to detect the arrival of the first round of waves called primary waves or p-waves. These waves are fast but rarely cause any damage. P-waves are followed by secondary waves or s-waves which are slower but do more harm.

Last September, Governor Jerry Brown approved a bilto create an early warning system. The bill requires that sensors be installed to detect earthquakes and that operators figure out a way to alert the public.

However, ShakeAlert doesn’t have enough backing to scale up, according to Richard Allen who directs the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.

It will cost $80 million over five years to test and deploy the system and another $12 million a year for operational costs.

After Alaska, California experiences more earthquakes than any other state and an early warning system could provide a model for others, if it receives enough funding.

Currently there is no national early warning system. Instead, under the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, the USGS must issue alerts and improve public safety around earthquakes. While USGS already sends rapid, automatic earthquake information via the Internet, email, text messages and social media it does not currently employ an early warning system.

 Funds to test ShakeAlert are currently provided by the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, Google, the City of San Francisco and The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. But it will take a long term financial commitment in order to keep the system running. 

Read more:


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.


Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

September 2014

2014 September

In the September issue of Security Magazine, find out who this year's most influential people are in the security industry are. Also, take a peek at the technology products that ASIS 2014 will be showcasing at the upcoming event. Read about the lessons learned from security at the World Cup, find out why tactical medical training is a must for your enterprise and how Atlanta increased security by sharing surveillance.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Adopting New Technology

How long do you wait before adopting a new technology?
View Results Poll Archive


CompTIA Security+ Certification Study Guide
CompTIA's Security+ certification is a globally-recognized, vendor neutral exam that has helped over 60,000 IT professionals reach further and higher in their careers. The current Security+ exam (SY0-201) focuses more on being able to deal with security issues rather than just identifying them.
More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to


Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+