Trump Budget Would End Funding For Earthquake Warning System

President Trump's latest budget proposal has Californians feeling shaky. The latest budget from the White House would eliminate funding for an earthquake early warning system that could give residents up to a thirty second warning before the shaking starts. 

Trump's new budget slashes funds for the U.S. Geological Survey by 20 percent, requesting about $13 million less for the federal government's earthquake hazards program. That includes about $10.2 million that's being used for the earthquake early warning system. 

The administration also proposed reducing staff at the USGS's earthquake hazards program, from 240 to 222 people. That would include around 15 positions that staff the early warning system. 

Officials say an early earthquake warning system for California would cost about $38 million to install and need an additional $16 million per year to maintain. 

A similar system in Mexico is said to have provided residents there with up to sixty seconds of warning before the ground started moving. 

The U.S. Department of Interior defended the reduction in the early earthquake warning system, saying the money was being shifted to "address higher priorities." 

This isn't the first time Trump has attempted to eliminate funding for the system. Last year, Congress added the money back to the USGS, allowing the program to continue. The USGS says they plan on issuing limited public alerts before the end of the year so long as their funding isn't cut. 

Photo: Getty Images

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