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California needs an earthquake early warning system — now

California needs an earthquake early warning system — now
A computer-generated graphic is displayed at news conference in Pasadena to announce legislation to create an earthquake early warning system for California, similar to those in Japan and elsewhere. (Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

To the editor: It's good news that California is making progress toward deploying an earthquake early warning system. But, as your article points out, California still lags behind Japan and other earthquake-prone countries, and it could be a while before the state's program can expand from a limited roll-out to a full public alert system. ("After years of planning, California is likely to roll out its earthquake warning system next year," May 22)

As senators who championed funding and building the alert system, we urge the speediest possible deployment. Lives are at stake.

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The latest science indicates California is overdue for a major earthquake and that damage could be far greater than previously estimated because the state's faults are interconnected in ways we are just beginning to understand.

We look forward to seeing the alert system launched as soon as possible — and all Californians benefiting.

State Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo)

State Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys)

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