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USGS launches Shake Alert early warning system in Oregon

At 10:00 a.m., USGS flips the switch so that you can start getting earthquake alerts through apps on your cellphone or smart device.

Posted: Mar 10, 2021 7:31 PM
Updated: Mar 11, 2021 3:59 PM

OREGON -- On Thursday, the United States Geological Survey launches its Shake Alert early warning system in Oregon.

At 10:00 a.m., USGS flips the switch so that you can start getting earthquake alerts through apps on your cellphone or smart device.

Officials say they want to make sure that people have as many different ways to receive the alert as possible because those seconds of warning can save lives.

"That's why preparedness is so important. This is one of the most incredibly valuable things that a family can do to make disasters less impactful on them. We want to do this before the emergency strikes and what we encourage Oregonians is to be is what we call ‘two weeks ready,’” said Althea Rizzo, geological hazards program coordinator for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Officials from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry say there are common misconceptions about the earthquake early warning system.

One of them is that it can somehow predict earthquakes before they begin.

That is not the case because that scientific technology doesn’t exist, according to officials.

"A Shake Alert can’t detect an earthquake before it occurs, but it can detect an earthquake that has just begun, and it can do so very rapidly so that some people can get alerts before they even feel shaking. So, this distinction is really important, especially for the media, because we don't want to give people the impression that shake alert or any kind of technology or any kind of internet guru can predict earthquakes before they occur,” said Jenny Crayne, an educator with OMSI.

Oregon is the second state to get the system turned on.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 207558

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40446614
Washington26850249
Marion23497324
Clackamas18981235
Lane13944166
Jackson11581146
Deschutes1005582
Umatilla862787
Linn565381
Yamhill479479
Klamath478278
Polk402056
Douglas391683
Josephine363872
Malheur362063
Benton327522
Jefferson237839
Coos217737
Columbia193029
Union150224
Wasco145630
Lincoln144021
Crook129523
Hood River121933
Morrow115816
Clatsop10639
Baker103115
Curry73211
Tillamook6614
Grant5527
Lake4698
Harney4369
Wallowa1945
Gilliam811
Sherman701
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

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Cases: 3812825

Reported Deaths: 63501
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Los Angeles124841524472
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San Bernardino2994254886
San Diego2820523778
Orange2731705116
Santa Clara1202332199
Kern1108471405
Sacramento1080131738
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San Joaquin748081440
Contra Costa70882813
Stanislaus635861071
Tulare49823850
Monterey43858456
San Mateo42756581
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Santa Barbara34631455
Solano33797267
Merced32325481
Sonoma31026317
Imperial28908741
Placer23656300
Kings23214247
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Madera16660245
Santa Cruz16262209
Marin14212230
Yolo14161212
Butte12666198
Shasta12615235
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Napa1003280
Sutter9676113
Yuba652151
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Tehama574263
Nevada493675
Humboldt452849
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Tuolumne422271
Amador374347
Lake356653
Glenn243727
Siskiyou239938
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Calaveras221056
Del Norte14688
Inyo143438
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Plumas7426
Modoc5645
Mariposa4667
Trinity4246
Sierra1180
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