The US-based tech giant Google recently launched the Android Earthquake Alerts System on Android smartphones in India. This system is already operational in many countries worldwide, offering early earthquake warnings to people when shaking begins.
“Our alerts are designed to be easy to read and follow and are available in Indian languages supported by Android. Through this launch, we strive to provide Android users automatic early warning alerts when there is an earthquake in their area,” Google wrote in a blogpost.
Earthquakes are one of the most common natural disasters in the world, and an early warning can be pivotal in helping people prepare and get themselves and their loved ones to safety. That’s why Google created the Android Earthquake Alerts System, which uses sensors in Android smartphones to detect and estimate earthquakes.
How It Works
As per Google, each Android smartphone is equipped with tiny accelerometers that can act as mini seismometers. When a phone is plugged in and charging, it can detect the very beginnings of earthquake shaking.
If many phones detect earthquake-like shaking around the same time, our server can use this information to estimate that an earthquake may be happening, as well as characteristics of the event – like its epicenter and magnitude.
Then, the server from Google can send alerts to nearby phones. Internet signals travel at the speed of light, much faster than the propagation of earthquake shaking through the ground, so the alerts often reach phones several seconds before severe shaking does.
How To Use Android Earthquake Alerts System
– The Android Earthquake Alerts System has been made available to all Android users in India with Android version 5 and higher.
– To receive alerts, users must have Wi-Fi and/or cellular data connectivity, and both Android Earthquake Alerts and location settings enabled.
– Users who do not wish to receive these alerts can turn off Earthquake Alerts in device settings.
– The system also provides information through Google Search about local seismic events and safety measures when people search for information with queries like “Earthquake near me.”
This Android Earthquake Alerts System was announced in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.