California’s new early-warning earthquake app SHAKES while counting down seconds to significant vibrations to give users enough time to fall, cover, and hold
- QuakeAlertUSA is available for free for smartphones in California
- The app uses data from government earthquake sensors to calculate the time until a tremor is expected to strike
- QuakeAlertUSA shakes the user’s smartphone and activates a timer that counts the seconds to the impact so that they can find coverage
- The app comes amid fears that California will soon undergo a devastating earthquake
A new app that warns users of impending earthquakes by shaking their smartphones has been rolled out in California.
QuakeAlertUSA is now available for free on iOS and Android phones for those in the Golden State, where seismologists say a “groundbreaking” earthquake is far too late.
The app was created by Early Warning Labs and uses data from hundreds of earthquake sensors set up in California by the US Geological Survey of the government.
Once the US Geological Survey determines the size and location of an earthquake, the app can instantly calculate the exact amount of time until the user will feel the impact – as long as the location settings are activated on their smartphone.
The user’s phone shakes (or vibrates) and begins to count down the seconds until the earthquake strikes, allowing them to prepare and take cover.
Users can customize the app to decide whether they want to be notified of weak, light or moderate earthquakes.
Weak earthquakes, classified as level III on the modified Mercalli intensity scale, measure 4-magnitude on the Richter scale.
The app does not send warnings for earthquakes with a lower intensity because they largely go unnoticed.
QuakeAlertUSA is now available for free on iOS and Android phones for people in the Golden State, where seismologists say a “groundbreaking” earthquake is far too late
The app was created by Early Warning Labs and uses data from hundreds of earthquake sensors set up in California by the US Geological Survey of the government
QuakeAlertUSA says it can send alerts up to a minute from the moment users start vibrating
HOW DOES ALARM US APP
Users who purchase the app can choose which type of earthquakes they want to be warned about – weak, light or moderate
QuakeAlertUSA then relies on data from earthquake sensors set up by the US Geological Survey of the government
The sensors immediately send a warning to QuakeAlertUSA when a tremor is expected to be M4 or higher
The app uses technology to instantly calculate how far an individual user is removed from the impact site
The app can then calculate the time until the individual user feels vibrations from the earthquake
The user’s phone then vibrates and a countdown timer is activated, allowing him to take cover
QuakeAlertUSA says it can send alerts up to a minute from the moment users start vibrating.
The app is advertised in the iTunes Store alongside an imaginary scenario that allows users to fully understand the practical benefit.
‘Imagine that it is a typical Friday afternoon. You look over the San Francisco Bay from your office window to see the brilliant colors of the sunset. What you don’t see at 131 miles away, under the ocean floor at Monterey, is a ripping San Gregorio error that is broadcasting its first wave, “the promo said.
‘This fast-moving, usually non-harmful’ P-wave ‘is detected by sensors managed by the USGS. The slower, more harmful S waves will be the following. This data is immediately passed on to the Geological Survey of the United States, where the location and magnitude of the earthquake are determined. The Cloud Server of Early Warning Labs calculates individual alerts for all users with personal shaking time and intensity.
Once the US Geological Survey determines the size and location of an earthquake, the app can instantly calculate the exact amount of time until the user will feel the impact, as long as the location settings are activated on their smartphone
A highway in Los Angeles is depicted in the aftermath of an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 in January 1994
Despite the recent rollout, QuakeAlertUSA has already received rave reviews from users.
A satisfied customer wrote: ‘A real potential life-saving app! After having lived in an earthquake country for 33 years and having experienced my share of it, there is nothing worse than being surprised! Shaking suddenly is frightening! This app relieves that fear by alerting you to a shaker! It gives you strength back when you feel you don’t have one. Depending on how close and strong the quake is, you will still receive enough warning to make a number of vital decisions. “
Meanwhile, the US Geological Survey reports that earthquakes in California alone cause an average annual compensation of $ 3.7 billion.
However, CBS reports that seismologists say the state is actually in an “earthquake drought,” meaning that they can endure a number of very large earthquakes in the near future.
The aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco in October 1989