In a significant move to enhance safety during earthquakes, technology giant Google has introduced an alert system for Android users in India. This system aims to provide timely warnings, allowing people to seek safety promptly. Earthquakes are among the most common natural disasters globally, and early notifications can play a crucial role in enabling individuals to prepare and safeguard themselves and their families.
According to TechCrunch, this innovative system, developed in collaboration with India's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC), uses sensors within Android smartphones to detect and estimate earthquake activity.
Every Android smartphone is equipped with tiny accelerometers that can function as miniature seismometers. When a phone is plugged in and charging, it can sense the initial signs of an earthquake.
Micah Berman, Product Manager for Android Safety at Google, explained, "If many phones detect earthquake-like tremors around the same time, our server can use this information to estimate that an earthquake may be happening, as well as characteristics of the event -- like its epicenter and magnitude. Then, our server can send alerts to nearby phones."
Berman further highlighted that internet signals travel much faster than seismic waves, enabling the alerts to reach phones several seconds before the severe shaking occurs.
This feature, already operational in numerous countries worldwide, will be made available to all Android 5+ users in India in the upcoming week. The alerts will be presented in easily understandable formats and will be accessible in Indian languages supported by Android.
Additionally, the system offers valuable information through Google Search regarding local seismic events and safety measures when users search for terms like "Earthquake near me."
"We hope to supplement the government’s efforts on earthquake alerts and provide people with the advance notice they need to stay safe," expressed Berman. He also mentioned Google's ongoing collaboration with NDMA to furnish users with helpful safety information regarding natural disasters like floods and cyclones on Google Search and Maps.Inputs from IANS