Google expands Android earthquake warning system to Pakistan

Published July 19, 2022
A screenshot of how the application works. — Source: Google
A screenshot of how the application works. — Source: Google

Google on Tuesday announced the launch of its Earthquake Alerts System in Pakistan which is aimed at detecting seismic activities that could help people prepare for an impending emergency.

"Android Earthquake Alerts System is a no-cost, helpful android feature that detects earthquakes around the world and alerts people. It uses sensors in Android smartphones," the search engine giant said in a statement.

The system provides near-instant information to Google search. "When people look up 'earthquake' or 'earthquake near me', they will find relevant results, along with helpful resources on what to do after an earthquake," the statement said.

It said users who did not wish to receive alerts could turn the notifications off in device settings.

"Pakistan has experienced several earthquakes in the past especially in the northern and western parts of the country. With the expansion of this earthquake alerts system, android users in Pakistan may receive automatic early warning alerts that help them be prepared for an emergency."

According to Google, the system displays two types of alerts, depending on the magnitude and intensity of the earthquake.

"One feature titled 'Be Aware' alerts people when earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.5 occur, or an intensity level of 3 or 4 on the MMI scale. The notification is sent along with the distance of the earthquake's epicenter. The alert uses the phone’s current volume, vibration, and Do Not Disturb settings."

In contrast, another key feature named "Take Action" is a full-screen alert for earthquakes with a magnitude higher than 4.5, or an intensity level of 5 and above on the MMI scale.

"To help people prepare for potential heavy shaking, full-screen instructions are shown and the phone plays a loud sound."

The Android Earthquake Alerts System was first introduced in New Zealand and Greece.

It is available now in more countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Philippines, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United States of America and Uzbekistan, the statement added.

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