Google launched Android Earthquake Alerts System in seven more countries last month ahead of a global launch next year. The Philippines is one of the places where earthquake warnings are enabled, and Android users recently rated it as effective.
An earthquake of magnitude 6.7 hit Tingloe in the Philippines early yesterday morning, according to the US Geological Survey. Reuters reports that “the shaking lasted almost a minute.” There were no reports of severe destructions and human casualties, and the tremors lasted no more than a minute. However, many local residents were warned about this – literally a few seconds before the earthquake began, their Android smartphones sent notifications about the seismic threat. The success of the system was noted in a thread on Reddit and in messages on Twitter.
Google built a system to create “the world’s largest earthquake detection network” using already widespread technologies and sensors – accelerometers built into smartphones. This is due to the fact that the creation of a traditional network of ground seismometers (for example, in California and on the west coast of the United States) is not always possible. If there are such systems in the region and warnings are triggered, Android informs the user about them.
Google warnings come a few seconds before the main shocks, usually causing the main damage. The owners of Android devices are told the location of the alleged epicenter on the map, the likely magnitude of the tremors, as well as basic information on how to hide from the strikes.