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local | Politics | News | Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake In Oregon?

Trump's Budget Cuts Funding For West Coast Earthquake Warning System

Earlier this year, emergency authorities were pleased to hear the California earthquake early warning system, ShakeAlert, was expanding to Oregon and Washington.

But President Donald Trump has now cut the ShakeAlert system out of his budget.

Doug Toomey, a seismology professor at the University of Oregon, says many local organizations were hoping to use the system. 

“The Eugene Water and Electric Board is planning to turn off their power generating facilities when they receive an alert. And ODOT is planning to use the alerts to possibly install red lights on bridges in the Portland area and along Highway 101. So to have it zeroed-out in 2018 is a disappointment, to say the least,” he said.

A small network of sensors is already installed in Oregon and Washington, but more sensors are needed — so an earthquake can be distinguished from localized shaking, for example, from a passing truck.

The final budget is expected to be a compromise between Trump and Congress.


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