Through a statement, Google confirmed that the Earthquake Alert System has been enabled for Colombia since the end of August.
In this way, the messages received by hundreds of citizens in the framework of the earthquake that occurred in the early hours of the morning at the Mesa de los Santos in Santander are explained. From now on, Colombians who have an Android cell phone will receive alert notifications when earthquakes occur. In the statement, Google indicated that this system will operate free of charge and will work as a complementary tool. The idea is to support national authorities in preventing fatalities from catastrophic events such as earthquakes.
Until now, this Android Earthquake Alert system was available for the states of California, Washington, and Oregon in the US, as well as Greece and New Zealand. “Our mobile phones are turning out to be indispensable, and we believe Android-powered devices can help people get ready and stay connected when they need it most,” the company said in a statement.
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How does the system work?
The system works based on the accelerometer available in each Android device. With this it detects ground movements and together with the algorithm it is activated. It then sends chunks of data to Android servers with the approximate location.
The principle of this system is based on the fact that if many phones detect this shake and the P waves and S waves then you will know that it is an earthquake. These are the types of waves that seismic movements emit during their occurrence. In this way, the servers can determine and recognize the earthquake pattern quite accurately. To avoid errors, the company has minimum thresholds for the detection to be valid.
For earthquake location and size estimation, Google’s algorithm searches for all likely locations and magnitudes. Also consider non-earthquake scenarios to determine the most likely cause. This is the information that is then made available on Google Search and the Earthquake Warning System.
When this system is activated, with a movement of 3 or 4 degrees on the Mercalli scale, it will interrupt the Do Not Disturb mode and break the configuration to issue the alert. The purpose is that the user can take shelter and place himself in a safety zone while the seismic movement lasts.
Image: ENTER.CO/Google Montage