Trump To End Funding For Early Warning Earthquake Detection System
For the second consecutive year, President Donald Trump's budget proposal nixes funding for the United States' early warning earthquake detection system - a system similar to those which have been successful in countries such as Mexico, Taiwan, and Japan.
Mexico's early warning system afforded the people of Mexico city 30 to 60 seconds advance notice that an earthquake was about to strike just last Friday.
The Trump administration’s budget proposal released last week again zeroed out funding for the earthquake early warning program administered by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The president’s budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 requested about $13 million less for the federal government’s earthquake hazards program, including $10.2 million for the earthquake early warning program. The administration also proposed reducing staff for the USGS’s earthquake hazards program from 240 to 222, including 15 positions that staff the earthquake early warning program.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the USGS has been working on the system for years, but the program continues to lack funds.
Nevertheless, the USGS has said it plans to begin limited public alerts of the early warning system by the end of this year, as long as funding isn’t cut. Southern California is one area where the network of seismic sensors is dense enough to begin early warnings.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said he will not stand by while funding for the program is eliminated:
“Congress has remained steadfast in its bipartisan support for the system, and I will work to see that Congress resumes funding for the project just as we did last year when the budget zeroed it out,” Schiff said in a statement.