Their volcanoes lack seismic monitors and their earthquake centers don’t have backup power, Alaska, Colorado and Washington state officials told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, according to a Jan. 31 Route Fifty report.
The hearing came a week after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake hit the Gulf of Alaska on Jan. 23. At the time, the Alaska Earthquake Center was partly offline due to a power outage, center seismologist Mike West told legislators.
“The reason is very simple,” West said. “Over the last half-dozen years every one of our federal and state funding lines has been cut back.”
Witnesses voiced support for the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act sponsored by Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), which is pending Senate floor consideration.
The bill directs the U.S. Geological Survey to create a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System to monitor, issue warnings of, and protect against undue and avoidable harm from volcanic activity.