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California OES to issue earthquake warning test for 'Great California Shakeout'

Cal OES officials are asking from those who receive the alert to practice protective measures they would do in a real-life earthquake.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2019 file photo, a mobile phone customer looks at an earthquake warning application on an iPhone in Los Angeles. California's earthquake early warnings will be a standard feature on all Android phones, bypassing the need for users to download the state's MyShake app in order to receive alerts. The Governor's Office of Emergency Services worked with Google, the maker of Android, to build the quake alerts into all phones that run the operating system. The deal was expected to be announced Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif — The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is issuing an earthquake warning test on Thursday as part of the Great California Shakeout

Cal OES will activate the alert through California's MyShake phone application, which is available for free from Apple and Google Play stores. Cal OES officials ask from those who receive the alert to practice "dropping, covering and holding on" or other protective measures they would do in a real-life earthquake. 

The test is simulating what would happen if a 4.5 magnitude earthquake erupted in San Francisco and Los Angeles. A 4.5 earthquake is the lowest level that CAL OES will issue an alert. The location of the quake depends on where you are.

In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled the country's first statewide earthquake warning system, called Earthquake Warning California. Earthquake Warning California uses ground-motion sensors to detect earthquakes that already started with estimates of their size, location, and impact.

In a news release, Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci said the state is proud to have the first statewide earthquake warning system. 

"Cal OES's leadership facilitated making warnings publicly available," Ghilarducci said. "The public can now have moments of warning before previously unexpected natural disasters. It is changing the world of mitigation and emergency management."

To participate in the Great California Shakeout, click here


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