New Delhi, September 27
Internet major Google will roll out an earthquake alert service in India that works using sensors in Android smartphones to detect and estimate the intensity of earthquakes, the company said on Wednesday.
Google has introduced “Android Earthquake Alerts System” in India in consultation with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Centre (NSC).
“Today, in consultation with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC), we're introducing the Android Earthquake Alerts System in India. Through this launch, we strive to provide Android users automatic early warning alerts when there is an earthquake in their area,” Google said in a blog.
The alert service will be available in Android 5 and later versions of the operating system.
“The Android Earthquake Alerts System is rolling out to all Android 5+ users in India during the coming week,” the blog said.
The system takes the help of tiny accelerometers present in Android smartphones that can act as mini seismometers.
“When a phone is plugged in and charging, it can detect the very beginnings of earthquake shaking. If many phones detect earthquake-like shaking 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,” the blog said.
Google said that internet signals travel at the speed of light, much faster than the propagation of earthquake shaking through the ground, so the alerts often reach phones several seconds before severe shaking does.
“In India, we have been working closely with the NDMA to provide users with helpful safety information about natural disasters such as floods and cyclones on Google Search and Maps. We're proud to further our association with the NDMA, along with the NSC, to bring the Android Earthquake Alerts system to India,” the blog said.
This is already deployed in many countries around the world to provide people with an early warning when earthquake shaking begins, it said.
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