West Coast Early Warning Essay

951 Words 4 Pages
The Japanese National Police Agency has confirmed 14,084 deaths, 5302 injured, and 13,511 missing due to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (“Counter”). Japan has the world’s most advanced earthquake early-warning system that includes at least 1,000 seismographs scattered throughout the country. According to some reports, some people received up to a minute advance warning that a quake was about to start. Washington, Oregon, and California are in the Cascadia Subduction Zone that is overdue for a life altering earthquake. Despite the hefty price tag, it is critical we build this system now. We are in a race against time to implement an Early Warning System that could save countless lives.
The United States’ West Coast is part of The
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Hardly any of the buildings are designed to withstand a Megathrust Earthquake. They have slim structural frames and fewer walls that cannot withstand any shaking at all. Most of the buildings in Seattle that were built before 1994 would probably collapse due to substandard building regulations. All of Portland’s treasured bridges would be decimated (Allen, Richard). The destructive power of the Great East Japan Earthquake is beyond belief, but it could have been so much worse. Japan is simply more prepared than any other country for this type of disaster.
When an earthquake occurs, it sends out two waves of energy. The first, called the P-waves, create very little shaking but travel the fastest. Those waves activate seismometers across the region that trigger an alert, warning users that the second, more powerful S-waves are about to strike. This process was successful on March 11, 2011. In Japan, the warning was successfully issued by Japan Meteorological Agency right before the earthquake, allowing people to take cover and brace themselves. Some people got almost a minute of warning before the main shaking started. The warning was received though TV, radio, cellphones and computer networks. They used warning messages for transportation systems such as rail and metro, as well as private industries, including construction, manufacturing and chemical plants (Allen). The newest

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