UBC’s Carlos Ventura (Civil Engineering) is part of a team that is developing a new earthquake early-warning system. Photo: Paul Joseph.
Placing earthquake sensors in 50 schools is step one of a UBC engineer’s vision for a life-saving warning network. Ten, 20 or 30 seconds might not sound like a lot of time, but it could make a big difference when an earthquake hits.
A new earthquake early-warning system created by University of British Columbia engineers senses earthquakes before the ground starts shaking and triggers a warning alarm that could give people time to find shelter.
“When the shaking starts you tend to go into denial,” says Carlos Ventura, director of UBC’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility. “You think it’s a truck going by, construction, or kids running around and you lose precious seconds that can make a difference between being safe and being injured.”
The civil engineering professor and his team are installing the earthquake early-warning systems in B.C. schools and training students, teachers and staff to react quickly when the alarm sounds.