Earthquake warning test message
The warning San Diego County residents will receive on Thursday. Courtesy County News Center

The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services, governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the U.S. Geological Survey will test a wireless emergency alert system Thursday on mobile phones throughout San Diego County.

The test is scheduled to be sent out at 11 a.m. to all mobile phones in the county, regardless of whether they belong to a permanent resident or not. The standard test is intended to study the system’s effectiveness in warning residents of impending earthquakes.

Mobile phones will receive a test alert and emit a loud tone to signal the test. People within the county are not required to take any action at the time of the alert.

State and local officials have worked with the USGS to develop the ShakeAlert system since 2006, using underground seismic activity censors to detect the first ripples from an earthquake.

The system’s first phase went into effect last fall in California, Oregon and Washington. Eventually, USGS officials hope to continue expanding the alert system across the country with the ability to alert people of earthquakes of a magnitude of 5.0 and above.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.