West Coast lawmakers seek funding for quake alert

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Updated: 4/03 1:27 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two dozen U.S. lawmakers from California, Washington and Oregon are calling for funding of an earthquake warning system designed to give residents a few seconds of notice of imminent shaking after a quake occurs.

An alert system exists in Japan, Mexico and several other quake-prone countries.

The West Coast representatives sent a letter Thursday to the Appropriations Committee calling for $16 million a year to build, operate and maintain an alert system.

The move comes days after a magnitude-5.1 quake rattled the greater Los Angeles region. The shaking caused scattered damage, but no serious injuries.

The U.S. Geological Survey has partnered with three universities to test a prototype warning system. The system can't predict earthquakes and people at the epicenter won't get any warning, but those farther away could benefit.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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