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Is there a warning before an earthquake?

Earthquakes are natural disasters that can have devastating consequences, underscoring the critical importance of early warning systems for public safety. Two such systems, Earling short-term earthquake risk models and ShakeAlert, have been developed to detect seismic events and issue timely alerts. In this essay, we will compare these systems, focusing on Earling's ability to detect high-risk seismic time-windows with exceptional accuracy.

ShakeAlert, as an Earthquake Early Warning System, relies on instruments that have inherent limitations, resulting in its inability to issue alerts more than a few seconds in advance. In contrast, Earling short-term earthquake risk models have demonstrated impressive capabilities in identifying high-risk seismic time-windows accurately, even up to several days in advance. Earling utilizes advanced predictive algorithms and machine learning techniques to analyze diverse data sources, including historical earthquake data, ground motion sensors, and geological information. By synthesizing this data, Earling can provide early warnings to experts and authorities several days ahead of seismic events, enabling proactive measures to mitigate potential damage and save lives. Moreover, Earling has implemented a secure repository system on GitHub, recording its alerts to ensure transparency and the reliability of its predictions for all major earthquakes since 2020, whereas ShakeAlert has been unable to issue alerts for earthquakes larger than magnitude 5 during the same period.

California Magnitude 6.2 December 20 2021 Earthquake

The M6.2 Petrolia earthquake that occurred on December 20, 2021 in California was actually two earthquakes that happened 10 seconds apart in two different locations. The first event was a magnitude 5.7 offshore on or near the east-west trending Mendocino transform fault, followed by an M6.2 earthquake about 30 km (19 mi) to the ENE, onshore near Petrolia. The US Geological Survey estimated economic losses of less than $10 million and no fatalities.

Earling issued an alert to approximately 50 specialists in the risk management industry about a week before the earthquake occurred. According to comments from USGS experts, ShakeAlert was unable to issue an alert for the earthquake.

California Magnitude 6.2 December 20 2022 Earthquake

The M6.4 earthquake that struck California on December 20, 2022 caused significant damage and disruption. The earthquake, centered near the town of Ferndale in Humboldt County, resulted in two fatalities and eleven reported injuries. Thousands of people were left without power, and homes, roads, and other infrastructure were damaged. 

Earling attempted to issue an alert to the Southern California Seismology Center via email about a week before the event occurred, while ShakeAlert underestimated the earthquake and failed to issue an alert, as it did with the magnitude 6.2 earthquake on December 20, 2021.

California Magnitude 5.0 September 2023 Earthquake

On Friday, September 8, 2023, at 10:24 a.m. Pacific Time, a magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck a rural area northeast of Redding, California. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred at a depth of approximately 9 miles and was subsequently followed by two magnitude-2.5 aftershocks.

Although the epicenter was not located in a densely populated area, the tremors were perceptible in Redding and neighboring communities in Shasta County, including Burney (population 3,200) and Susanville (population 15,200).

Earling's short-term seismic risk models have successfully detected the risk of all major earthquakes in the regions it covers. So, Yes, there is an earthquake warning in California before the forthcoming major earthquakes occur.