California lawmakers applaud $5 million in president's budget for earthquake warning system

California lawmakers say President Barack Obama's recommendation to spend $5 million next year on an early earthquake warning system for the West Coast represents a significant breakthrough.

It's the first time Obama has included funding for the project in his annual budget recommendation. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and congressman Adam Schiff, both Democrats, say the change shows the president recognizes the importance of moving ahead with the project more quickly.

Lawmakers previously secured $5 million for the early warning system and were seeking at least $16 million more. The money allows for the installation of more seismic detection stations and sensors.

Officials say an earlier warning of just a few seconds can save lives and limit damage. For example, it could allow trains to automatically brake before the shaking hits.