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USGS Director : "Shame On Us If We Don't Learn From Their Misfortunes" in Japan

NASA via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Dr. Marcia McNutt, told a House Subcommittee Thursday morning there are a lot of lessons to be learned by scientists and by people in the United States from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“Shame on us if we don’t learn from their misfortunes” she told the subcommittee. Testifying before the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Interior Environment, and Related Agencies, McNutt stressed the importance of Japan’s earthquake early warning system saving “thousands of lives”.

McNutt also pointed to Japan’s earthquake engineering. The engineering of the buildings in Japan helped many of the buildings come thru the magnitude 9.0 earthquake.  McNutt told the subcommittee how the tsunami was the real killer in Japan, killing thousands of lives.  “We are much more fortunate than Japan,” she said, that the U.S. does not have many areas that can be affected by local tsunami hazards.

She also told the subcommittee that the United States continues to be on track to develop an earthquake early warning system for California.  But, USGS officials later explained to ABC News that the reality is the U.S. is way behind Japan in developing an earthquake warning system for California.  The U.S. still has approximately two more years before completing a prototype and the completion may be delayed further with expected cuts in the president’s upcoming 2012 budget.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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