Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has lessons for California
You can see current eruption and quake activity on the Volcano Discovery site.
Why Kilauea’s activity matters to Californians
Californians might feel immune to a volcanic eruption, but the state has seven active volcanoes:
Mount Shasta, near the Oregon border
Lassen Volcanic Center, east of Redding
Long Valley Volcanic Region, northeast of Mammoth Mountain
Clear Lake Volcanic Field, along the southwest edge of Clear Lake
Medicine Lake Volcano, in Siskiyou County
Salton Buttes, on the southeast edge of Salton Sea
Ubehebe Craters, east of Kings Canyon National Park
Coso Volcanic Field, in the northern Mojave Desert
The probability of a major eruption is unknown, but the likelihood of a major earthquake is always a threat. Volcanic eruption and earthquakes have a lot in common, including short warning times.
California’s alert system
California is seeking funding to complete an earthquake early-warning system that could send warnings of earthquakes similar to Japan’s. The goal is for 1,675 stations. Currently, the state has 860; 75 percent of the total is expected to be installed by the end of the year.
Progress is being made to alert people by phone but it is currently not ready. The USGS detects earthquake activity and issues an alert. It relies on partners to distribute the alert. The current system is unable to get alerts to people fast enough.
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