US scientists testing earthquake early warning

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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. government is testing an alert system in California that may someday warn residents and businesses that an earthquake has hit.

It’s still in the test phase and only about 30 scientists have been hand-picked to receive the warnings through their computers.

The project is headed by the U.S. Geological Survey based on computer code developed by the California Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley.

A public warning system in place in Japan since 2007 has been credited with saving lives during the magnitude-9 earthquake in March.

Soon after the offshore rupture, millions of Japanese received a few seconds to tens of seconds of notice through alerts that were sent via television, radio and cell phones.