UC Berkeley’s Early Warning System Beat Napa Earthquake by 10 Seconds
Ten seconds before the San Francisco Bay Area started shaking early Sunday morning, an experimental system in a UC Berkeley lab sounded an alarm, counting down to the impending earthquake. The system works through an array of sensors near the fault line which calculate the severity of the quake and broadcast a warning.
It might not seem like much, but even a few seconds notice could allow utilities to shut off gas lines, elevators to let people off at the next floor, and trains to slow down. The USGS cites the benefits a warning could give to a doctor in the middle of performing surgery. In 2012, BART adopted an automatic braking system linked to the program, called Shake Alert.