Google can now send an early warning by using Android phones to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search on their device, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed.
Here’s how Google can send earthquake alerts to Android devices in California:
Google has collaborated with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to send earthquake alerts, powered by ShakeAlert, directly to Android devices in California.
Developed by the nation’s leading seismologists, the ShakeAlert system uses signals from more than 700 seismometers installed across the state by USGS, Cal OES, University of California Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology. A few seconds of warning can make a difference in giving you time to drop, cover, and hold on before the shaking arrives.
Google rollout Android Earthquake Alert System to an Android phone, wherever you live in the world. This means your Android phone can be a mini seismometer, joining millions of other Android phones out there to form the world’s largest earthquake detection network.
“All smartphones come with tiny accelerometers that can sense signals that indicate an earthquake might be happening. If the phone detects something that it thinks may be an earthquake, it sends a signal to our earthquake detection server, along with a coarse location of where the shaking occurred. The server then combines information from many phones to figure out if an earthquake is happening. We’re essentially racing the speed of light (which is roughly the speed at which signals from phone travel) against the speed of an earthquake.”
Google uses this technology to share a fast, accurate view of the impacted area on Google Search. When you search for “earthquake” or “earthquake near me”, Google Search shows you relevant results for your area, along with helpful tips on what to do after an earthquake.
Google worked with globally-renowned seismology and disaster experts Dr. Richard Allen, Dr. Qingkai Kong, and Dr. Lucy Jones to develop this crowdsourced approach for detecting earthquakes all around the world.
Google has been starting with earthquake alerts in California since there’s already a great seismometer-based system in place. In the coming year, Google will add earthquake alerts to more states and countries using Android phone-based earthquake detection.