Earthquake Alert Times in the Pacific Northwest (ShakeAlert system)

Novice Spanish

What would you do with seconds to prepare for earthquake shaking? With even a few seconds, ShakeAlert© earthquake early warning can save lives and reduce injuries by alerting people that an earthquake may cause shaking near you as it triggers automated actions.

Today, ShakeAlert can effectively detect earthquakes throughout the three-state system and deliver alerts via its distribution partners before people experience strong shaking. The ShakeAlert system continues to improve, potentially leading to longer warning times. As the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and the California Integrated Seismic Network install more sensors, ShakeAlert will detect earthquakes faster and more accurately. Plus, ShakeAlert scientists are constantly working behind the scenes, to improve the earthquake detection algorithms, making them better at rapidly determining when a small initial rupture has grown larger to become a mega-quake.

Related Animations

It is common knowledge that the Pacific Northwest can expect a subduction-zone megathrust earthquake in the future.  But did you know that there are other types of damaging earthquakes.  This animation uses analogies and cartoon block diagrams to teach about the three types of earthquakes.

Animation Novice

ShakeAlert ( is an experimental earthquake early warning system (EEW) being tested in the seismically vulnerable West Coast of the United States. This animation shows how ShakeAlert worked for the Napa earthquake, and how it could work for a large M7.8 hypothetical earthquake in Southern California.

Animation Novice

This new animation (2020) describes the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning app: How it works, why we should have it. Made in collaboration with governmental agencies and universities on the West Coast.

Animation Novice

Ghost forests are part of the evidence that a Great earthquake and devastating tsunami occurred last on January 26th, 1700 in the Pacific Northwest. How do we know this?

Animation Novice

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