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How do earthquake early warning systems work?

California plans a system that can detect earthquake waves to warn the public

Courtesy of Richard Allen/UC Berkeley, location map and GPS displacements near the April 2010, Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake
By Jane J. Lee National Geographic September 27, 2013
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One minute you're sitting at your desk on solid ground, the next the floor slips out from underneath you and things start to rattle off the shelves. Earthquakes seem to come out of nowhere and can cause widespread devastation...
 

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