Testing began on Tuesday on the first early warning system to predict earthquakes before they rattle Oregon and Washington, with a group of businesses and hospitals trying out the tool before it is made available to the public, scientists said.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network system will emit a blaring siren and a vocal warning that says "Earthquake. Earthquake. Shaking to begin in ... 15 seconds," the research team from the University of Washington said in a statement.

The technology will issue an alert for any earthquakes above magnitude 3, which typically occur somewhere in Washington and Oregon about every two to three weeks, it said.