FRESNO, California (KSEE) A statewide early earthquake warning app called “My Shake” was launched Thursday.
It was set to coincide with today’s 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake which rocked the Bay Area on Oct. 17 1989.
The quake killed 63 people and left six billions dollars in damage.
California Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference in Oakland addressing the app.
“Today we are making a big leap forward in terms of focusing on prevention,” Newsom said.
Newsom said it was important to unveil the app 30 years after one of the most destructive natural disasters California has felt.
“Lives were lost, buildings collapsed, like that corner building in the Marina District, but everybody was assembled to help out,” Newsom said.
“My Shake” was developed at the University of California, Berkeley and will be used to warn users if an earthquake is coming.
“This is about 10 seconds, 15 seconds, and even up to 20 seconds of an early warning,” Newsom said.
Kiersti Ford is a Fresno City College Geology Professor. She said this app is a game changer for many Californians.
“An app that everyone is really familiar with and has on their phone with notifications is great because if you know there is an earthquake nearby, you can get undercover,” Ford said.
This could give those who live along a fault line some sort of warning, she explained. “It would be great to show students, you know here is what’s happening right now in lets say along the San Andreas Fault.”
According to Dr. Richard Allen with UC Berkeley, the app doesn’t predict earthquakes but rather users sensors throughout the state to detect when an earthquake is beginning. Then, it calculates the intensity and location.
“We are very proud today to be going the last mile and be providing the ‘My Shake’ app which can actually deliver this warning to everybody across California,” Allen said.