Legislators to attend earthquake early warning conference Sept. 3-5

ATTENTION: Reporters covering politics, public policy or science

WHAT: An international conference that will draw California politicians as well as emergency response officials and scientists from around the world to discuss earthquake early warning systems and strategies for establishing networks in California, the U.S., Europe and many other countries.

In the wake of a major 6.0 magnitude quake Aug. 24 in Napa, Calif., state legislators, the lieutenant governor and the mayor of San Francisco will join scientists and representatives from government agencies in discussing current plans for a state and West Coast early warning system and possible funding opportunities to build such a system.

WHEN: Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 3-5. Legislators will attend the meeting between 1:30 and 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 3, but media are invited to attend any day. Click here for agenda.

WHERE: Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley. Click here for a map.

WHO: The speakers and attendees include

  • State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima)
  • State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo)
  • California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
  • San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
  • Suzette Kimball, acting director of the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
  • Richard Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, UC Berkeley
  • Thomas Heaton, director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory, Caltech
  • John Vidale, director of the Pacific NW Seismic Network, University of Washington

DETAILS: The Third International Conference on Earthquake Early Warning will focus on how countries such and Japan and Mexico have created nation-wide earthquake alerting systems, and effective strategies for building such systems in California, the U.S. West Coast, Canada, and countries as far flung as Jordan, Pakistan, Korea, China and Mongolia.

Representatives of agencies ranging from NASA and Chevron to PG&E and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system also will be in attendance. Some of these agencies are already testing an early warning system called ShakeAlert, created by the USGS, UC Berkeley, Caltech and the University of Washington and funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the USGS. ShakeAlert gave Bay Area agencies between five and 10 seconds of warning of shaking from the Napa quake.

NOTE: Reporters planning to attend should contact Robert Sanders (rlsanders@berkeley.edu, 510-643-6998) to reserve a spot.