Next time an earthquake hits Los Angeles, scientists at Caltech will have an extra 30 seconds to get ready. An earthquake early-warning system passed a test Monday morning when it alerted seismologists in Pasadena 30 seconds prior to a 4.7 temblor. The extra seconds could be the difference between life and death in a major quake, giving time for utilities to shut down and trains to stop. Unfortunately, experts estimate placing the monitors across the state will cost up to $80 million. Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, Romania, China, and Japan already have similar systems in place.
Duck and Cover Earthquake early warning system for California. (Reed Saxon/AP)