ShakeAlert earthquake warning system goes live this week in Washington


FILE – In this Jan. 3, 2019 file photo a mobile phone customer looks at an earthquake warning application on their phone in Los Angeles. Earthquake early warning alerts will become publicly available throughout California for the first time this week, potentially giving people time to protect themselves from harm, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Warnings produced by the ShakeAlert system will be pushed through two delivery systems: a cellphone app called MyShake and the same wireless notification system that issues Amber Alerts, meaning people may receive both notifications. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

SEATTLE (AP/KOIN) — Washington residents will have new tool to help keep them safe when an earthquake strikes on Tuesday when the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System goes live.

Once launched, ShakeAlert will be able to send residents an alert on their mobile phones, providing valuable seconds of warning to take cover before the shaking from an earthquake reaches their location.

Washington state has the second-highest earthquake risk in the United States. It also has one of the highest tsunami risks.

The system is designed to give residents time to take cover in the event of an earthquake but it cannot predict when an earthquake will strike.

Oregon’s ShakeAlert system has been live since March 11.

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