Google has announced a new earthquake alert system in India for Android users. This alert system will notify users in real time about an earthquake. Statistics show that 58 per cent of India is vulnerable to earthquakes, with most of the population living in seismic zones. Google’s new feature attempts to reduce casualties and damage by alerting users in case of an earthquake.
The feature is live in most countries of the world and uses sensors to detect earthquakes nearby. Google has rolled out the alert system in India in consultation with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Centre for Seismology (NCS) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Android Earthquake Alert System: How Does It Work?
According to Google, it uses the accelerometer sensor in Android phones to sense vibrations and speeds to indicate the presence of an earthquake. These accelerometers act as mini seismometers and can detect earthquakes when plugged in for charging.
If several phones detect an earthquake-like shaking intensity, the server uses this data to estimate the earthquake’s epicentre and magnitude. Based on this information, the server alerts phones nearby. As the internet travels faster than the speed of light, it can alert people several seconds before the earthquake.
These alerts support all Indian languages currently available on Android. There are two types of notifications for earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.5 and higher.
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First is Be Aware Alert, which will provide you with a heads-up in case of light shaking. Only users who experience MMI 3 & 4 shaking during an earthquake are notified. This alert will be silenced if you have the Do Not Disturb mode or notification volume turned down.
Second is the Take Action Alert, which will inform you in case of moderate to heavy shaking. Its purpose is to grab your attention so you can take immediate action. Only users who experience MMI 5+ shaking during a magnitude of 4.5 or higher earthquake will be notified.
How To Activate The Android Earthquake Alert System in India
You will need a smartphone running Android 5.0 or above to activate the Earthquake Alert System on Android. Furthermore, you will need an active Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. It will roll out to all Android users in the coming weeks.
To activate the feature, head into Settings and enable the Android Earthquake Alerts and your location settings. You can find the Earthquake Alerts toggle n in the Safety & Emergency feature in the Settings. This will allow Google to track your device’s location and inform you in case of a potential earthquake in your vicinity.
Furthermore, this system can also provide information when users search for “Earthquake near me” on Google, making it useful for others. You can also turn off these alerts if you don’t prefer receiving them.
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Abeer is a tech enthusiast who keeps track of all the trending gadgets and smartphones. During his free time, he can be found playing the latest PC games or binge watching TV shows.