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Mayor: Los Angeles earthquake alert can make a difference

January 3, 2019
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A mobile phone customer looks at an earthquake warning application on their phone in Los Angeles on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Los Angeles has released the app that could give LA County residents precious seconds to drop, cover and hold on in the event of a quake. The city announced Wednesday that ShakeAlertLA is available for download on Android and Apple phones. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says a newly released earthquake early warning app can give Los Angeles County citizens a few seconds to protect themselves before strong shaking arrives.

Garcetti said Thursday the ShakeAlertLA app can make a difference if someone needs to pull over, get out of an elevator or drop, cover and hold on.

The app is a pilot project in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, which is developing a network of sensors intended to provide alerts to the West Coast. The USGS announced in October it was changing from prototype to operational mode.

In addition to individuals, the system alerts businesses, utilities, transportation systems, schools and governments.

Depending on where the quake hits, the app says the warning could arrive before, during or after the quake.

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