By Charly SHELTON
On Tuesday, the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit began in Washington, D.C. Local, state and federal leaders met to discuss various aspects of earthquake disasters and recovery periods in affected areas. This comes after a 2015 scientific assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey reported that over 143 million Americans in the continental United States “could experience potentially damaging earthquakes.” This is almost double the previous report’s estimate from 2006 as populations in at-risk areas have grown and earthquake risk estimation has improved.
President Obama signed an executive order on Tuesday for Enhanced Seismic Safety, part of which will help further the earthquake early detection system that is being championed by Congressman Adam Schiff.
“The West Coast is due for another earthquake, and the question is not if but when the next big one will hit,” said Schiff in a press release statement at the start of the Summit. “When it does, it will undoubtedly cause significant damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure, cause injuries and potentially result in fatalities. We have the real opportunity to mitigate that damage and save lives if we act now on an early warning system.
“We have had significant success over the past few years in Congress funding the effort to fully build out a West Coast Early Warning System, but the federal government cannot – and will not – fund the system in its entirety. And so I am very pleased that the private sector is getting involved [at the Summit] in lending their support, as many companies based on the West Coast will benefit tremendously by the implementation of an early warning system. We are also hearing encouraging words of support from the affected states which I hope will soon be followed by more concrete pledges of financial assistance.”