Fast response times lead to great media coverage
What can California learn from these recent earthquakes?
That's the question asked by Scott Nebenzahl of Seismic Warning Systems, after the world witnessed several large earthquakes around the globe. The Kumamoto quake gave us a glimpse of the scale of damage the Napa earthquake (one of the more recent large earthquakes here in California) we might experience if it had been centered near San Francisco. Looking at the reasons the Kumamoto earthquake was so damaging, one sees some striking parallels to our situation here in California: a large quake close to a large city.
The residents of Kumamoto had no warning of this large quake, despite a multi-billion dollar earthquake warning system implemented by the Japanese earthquake agency.
So, asked Scott, could San Franciscans be given more warning in the event of such an earthquake? And if so, who is best poised to develop and deliver such a system: the private sector, the public sector, or a blend of both?
His company, Seismic Warning Systems, has developed the world's most advanced earthquake warning system. Their system could provide as much as one second's notice for a quake centered a few miles from San Francisco. That's enough time to turn a train signal to red, switch off a laser during eye surgery, or disable power and gas in a large building.
We pitched this idea to some close media contacts, and heard back from Bloomberg News. "Could Scott make it to a studio, pronto?" they asked. "Certainly!" we said.
Here's the clip.