Technology giant Google on Wednesday launched an earthquake alert system in India that can help people with android smartphones run to safety when the quake begins. The system, introduced in consultation with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC) in India, uses sensors in android smartphones to detect and estimate earthquakes.
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 earthquakes. Google sends two types of alerts: Be Aware and Take Action. The “Be Aware” alerts are sent to users exercising MMI 3 & 4 shaking during an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 or greater.
It just shows an alert on screen and doesn’t play any sound if your phone is on Do Not Disturb mode or in silent mode. The alerts are sent to users experiencing MMI 5+ shaking during an earthquake of 4.5 magnitude. In this case, the alert will bypass system’s notification settings, including Do No Disturb, and play a loud sound.
The feature, already deployed in many countries around the world, will be rolled out to all Android 5+ users in India in the coming week.The alerts are designed to be easy to read and follow, and are available in Indian languages supported by android. To receive alerts, users must have Wi-Fi and/or cellular data connectivity, and both android earthquake alerts and location settings enabled.