Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to develop a statewide earthquake early warning system in California, after devoting $10 million to the program in the state budget he signed this year.
Brown announced Thursday that he signed SB 438 by state Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat from San Mateo.
The legislation sets up the early warning program, called "ShakeAlert."
"It will help save lives and really protect the public before tremblors can strike. Before you get the shaking at your location, you’ll get a warning," Hill told KQED's Peter Jon Shuler.
Seismic early warning systems are designed to detect the first shock waves from a large jolt, calculate the strength and alert people before the slower but damaging waves spread. Mexico, China and Japan are among the countries already using them.