Google has recently launched its earthquake alerts feature in India for Android users. This new system can turn your Android phone into an earthquake detector and alert you accordingly.

How it Works

The system works by turning your phone into a mini earthquake detector, using the accelerometer as a seismograph. When your phone is charging and not moving, it can sense the first signs of an earthquake. Phones can sense and report earthquake-like shaking. If many phones report the same then Google’s server can figure out that an earthquake is happening, and where and how strong it is. Then, Google’s server sends alerts to other phones nearby.

Types of Alerts

Depending on the magnitude of the earthquake, the alerts are classified into two types. The first is the ‘Be Aware Alert’ which is sent out to users experiencing MMI 3 & 4 shaking during an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 or greater. The other is the ‘Take Action Alert’ which is sent out to users experiencing MMI 5+ shaking with a magnitude 4.5 or greater. Stronger earthquakes bypass Do Not Disturb settings, turn the screen on, and play a loud sound.

Collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Seismology Center (NSC)

Google has launched this new feature in India in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC). Google has been working with the NDMA to provide users with useful information about other natural disasters like floods and storms on Google Search and Maps.

How to Enable Alerts

The system will be available to all Android users in India in the next week. The Android version should be Android 5 or higher. To receive alerts, users must have Wi-Fi and/or cellular data connectivity, and both Android Earthquake Alerts and location settings enabled.

This new feature from Google is a significant step towards leveraging technology for disaster management. Alerts could potentially save lives by providing crucial early warnings.