LA’s earthquake warning system worked — just not how people expected

After a recent earthquake in Los Angeles, some residents were left wondering why their ShakeAlert LA app hadn’t notified them. After all, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked Ridgecrest, California, about 150 miles away, and that quake was the first test of ShakeAlert since the app was released in 2018.

The system was working exactly as it was designed to, as the Los Angeles Times reported in the aftermath of the quake. While the shaking was intense in Ridgecrest, it wasn’t strong enough in LA to trigger the app to alert the people in Los Angeles County.

But the surprise may help ShakeAlert’s makers design a system for the West Coast that’s more responsive to what people actually want from an earthquake app. The designers had assumed that…

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