Local scientists headed to Earthquake Summit at White House next week

SEATTLE -- Local earthquake scientists will travel to Washington, D.C., next week, hoping to get federal money for an earthquake warning system.

The Nisqually Quake in 2001 did a lot of damage here. A bigger quake could demolish the waterfront area and topple the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Concerns about a massive quake and tsunami here are one that that sparked the Earthquake Summit at the White House next Tuesday.

John Vidale, of the UW Seismo Lab, will show lawmakers how the new 'Early Warning System' works.

"The idea is we're supposed to have a system that can tell people anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes before shaking comes in a big earthquake, and right now we tell people after it's all over, which is useful but not as useful as telling them before it happens," Vidale said.

He added that it would take just $16 million to protect the whole West Coast. They aim to send an earthquake warning that can get to your phone in one second -- but they're still working on some regulations that stop it from happening that fast.