Approximately, the United States expects 16 earthquakes each year. This data is a long-term record since 1900, according to the United States Geological Survey. Quick science review, earthquakes generally happen in regions where there are fault lines, and a sudden slip causes it. However, in recent years, it shows that the total number of earthquakes exceeded the said average.
With this data, Google has developed a new feature for Android phones to help in the event of an earthquake. The new feature was revealed in Google’s latest blog post, and it is an excellent addition to Android’s array of functions.
Google has opted not to create a new device for this alert system and incorporate it into existing Android phones. Moreover, it would be a build-in function in Android smartphones, which means no app download is necessary.
This update will make any Android smartphones as a tremor detector. The feature will eventually assist people by giving an alert or warning minutes before the mishappening nearby. However, countries like Japan and Mexico are already using land-based sensors to provide alerts and property damage caused by tremors.
This recent venture collaborates with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Moreover, Google has worked with seismology and disaster experts Dr. Richard Allen, Dr. Qingkai Kong, and Dr. Lucy Jones.
The alerts will be triggered by a magnitude generally encountered during an earthquake. This Google earthquake detector can be triggered by a magnitude of 4.5 earthquakes or higher.
In the blog post, the principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said that Google took the opportunity to be helpful.
“We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed.”Marc Stogaitis
In its initial phase, the update will only be available in California. The 31st state is more prone to earthquakes, especially its southernmost part. This fact is due to the San Andreas Fault, which runs 800 miles through California.
The technology behind this system is supported by ShakeAlert to send out the alerts. The ShakeAlert utilizes the 700 seismometers installed across California, and the warnings may deliver just a few seconds’ notice.
This venture of Google is a bit complicated as it will integrate sophisticated technology on a tiny device. Their competitor, Apple, hasn’t commented, but we can expect them to come up with a similar application. Nevertheless, once this feature has rolled out, it will become the world’s biggest earthquake detection network.