Earthquakes are some of the most dreaded of natural disasters for their speed and scale of destruction and also for their unpredictability. Unfortunately, even as earthquakes are becoming common, and densely populated regions like India are more exposed to major losses to life and property, we don’t have a device yet which could predict the possibility of a tremor and allow us time to move to safety. Being unprepared can have catastrophic consequences. But now, in order to better equip people for such a calamity, Google has expanded its Android Earthquake Alerts System, bringing it to India.
The feature will use the tiny accelerometers present in all Android smartphones as mini seismometers. Through this, devices with an Android 5 or higher OS, when plugged in and charging can detect the beginnings of earthquake-like shaking. The phones can send this information to Google’s servers, which in turn sends an alert on your phone. The speed of the data or WiFi connection could ensure that people have those precious few extra seconds to prepare and take necessary measures to keep themselves safe in the event of an earthquake.