Google has recently announced the launch of its earthquake alert system for Android devices in India. This new system, developed in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC), aims to provide early earthquake alerts to Android users in areas that are likely to be affected. With the use of smartphone sensors, such as accelerometers, which function as small seismometers, these alerts can detect and notify users of incoming tremors.
Google has launched an earthquake alert system on Android devices in India, delivering early warnings to users in high-risk areas.
How Does It Work?
The earthquake alert system from Google for Android devices operates by sending two types of alerts: “Be Aware” and “Take Action”. The “Be Aware” alerts are sent to users who experience shaking with a Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) of 3 or 4 during an earthquake measuring magnitude 4.5 or above. These alerts appear as notifications on a user’s screen and do not generate any sound if the phone is on Do Not Disturb or silent mode.
For more intense shaking, specifically MMI 5 or above during a 4.5 magnitude earthquake, the alert will bypass the phone’s notification settings and emit a loud sound. The alert also provides users with recommended safety actions, such as taking cover under a table, to protect themselves during the earthquake.
Precise and Timely Alerts
Google’s earthquake alert system relies on the data collected from numerous Android phones to detect potential seismic activity in an area. The advantage of using this vast network of devices is that the alerts can often reach users seconds before shaking is felt, offering valuable time to take necessary safety precautions.
In order to receive earthquake alerts, users must have an Android device running on version 5 or later, with either Wi-Fi or cellular data connectivity. Additionally, location settings must be enabled on the device.
The process of enabling earthquake alerts is simple. Users can access the feature through their phone’s Settings by navigating to Safety & Emergency > Earthquake Alerts. Alternatively, users can enable earthquake alerts by going to Settings > Location > Advanced > Earthquake Alerts.
Expanding on Existing Safety Measures
This isn’t the first time Google has utilized its technological capabilities to provide crucial safety information to the public. The company has already implemented AI-powered flood alerts across all regions in India. The flood alert system was initially introduced as a pilot in Patna, the capital of the Indian state of Bihar, in 2018. After a successful trial, Google expanded the flood alerts to cover the entire country in 2020.
The introduction of the earthquake alert system in India demonstrates Google’s commitment to leveraging its resources and expertise to help safeguard the lives and well-being of individuals in disaster-prone areas. By providing timely and accurate warnings, this technology has the potential to mitigate the impact of earthquakes and enable people to take proactive measures to ensure their safety.