KFI on the Pulse

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Trump Proposes $12M Cut To Tsunami Warning System

President Donald Trump has proposed budget cuts to several warning systems, including a $12 million cut to the tsunami warning system.

This $12 million cut could mean an end to the program, which made a big difference in California when a 2011 tsunami hit Crescent City. The system allowed officials to warn residents to evacuate hours before the tsunami hit. To compare, in 1964 a 20 foot tall tsunami hit the city, there were no warnings and 11 people were killed in the tragedy.

Professor David Oglesby said that the president’s $12 million cut would draw the Pacific tsunami warning program to a close.

“Without that money, the program would eventually have to be shut down,” said Oglesby, a geophysics professor at UC Riverside. “These detectors are powered by batteries that have to be replaced [and] instruments need to be serviced.”

Tracking tsunamis with accuracy would be even more difficult without the warning system.

“If you’re on a ship in the ocean and a tsunami went underneath you, you’d never even know it, so that’s why we need these tsunami detectors on the ocean floor,” said Oglesby.

The tsunami warning system was finished in 2008 and played an instrumental role in lessening the consequences of Northern California’s 2011 natural disaster. However, this brings up more concerns about how natural disaster systems will be affected due to President Trump’s budget cuts.

A prime concern for California Congressman Adam Schiff includes the earthquake warning system, he said in a statement.

“By eliminating funding for both the West Coast Earthquake Early Warning System and the Tsunami Detection System in his budget, President Trump is disregarding the serious danger of natural disasters that millions of Americans face along the West Coast,” said Schiff.

With the Trump administration proposing budget cuts to several environmental causes, members of Congress from both sides have said they will ignore budget recommendations from the president when drawing up government funding plans for the next fiscal year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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