Special Notice !
Wednesday, February 25, 2004

EQ Flash! False Alarm Trigger - Willows earthquake

This afternoon the Seismo-Watch EQFlash! earthquake alert bulletin system issued an alert that a M 6.1 earthquake occurred at 22:04 UTC 2/25/2004 22 km SE of Willows.

This was a false alarm and people should disregard the notice.

Please note that there was no earthquake at 22:04 UTC time stamp as per the following USGS helicorder:

The information came from the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. The initial reading indicated that an event had occurred, but as more and more stations reported in, the automatic processors corrected the data. The magnitude dropped to M 3.1, then to M 2.8, and I suspect that when reviewed by an official analysts, it will be removed from the list.

There are a number of reasons why things like this happen, like solar flares, electromagnetic bursts, etc., and are to be expected from time to time. This quake had obvious data problems considering the focal depth was at 39.5 km deep in an area where activity at this depth is very unlikely.

Seismo-Watch will continue to monitor the situation and make corrections to its EQFlash! system as it sees fit. As you probably know by now, our server was hacked in September 2003 and we are trying to rebuild the system. The data feed we are now tied into is real time and false alarms are expected in the future. Seismo-Watch will be installing a FALSE ALARM notification shortly and hopefully this will rectify many concerns.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work through this issue. Together, we will make a difference and save lives.

Charles P. Watson
President / Chief Geologist
Seismo-Watch, Inc.


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