Earthquake early warning (EEW) systems provide seconds to tens of seconds of warning time before potentially-damaging ground motions are felt. For optimal warning times, seismic sensors should be installed as close as possible to expected earthquake sources. However, while the most hazardous earthquakes on Earth occur underwater, most seismological stations are located on-land; precious seconds may go by before these earthquakes are detected. In this work, we harness available optical fiber infrastructure for EEW using the novel approach of distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). DAS strain measurements of earthquakes from different regions are converted to ground motions using a real-time slant-stack approach, magnitudes are estimated using a theoretical earthquake source model, and ground shaking intensities are predicted via ground motion prediction equations. The results demonstrate the potential of DAS-based EEW and the significant time-gains that can be achieved compared to the use of standard sensors, in particular for offshore earthquakes.
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