Google's early quake warning system, a beacon of hope amid Istanbul's quake concerns

Türkiye  |
Editor : Sanem Topal
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A system developed by Google in 2021 for Android users aims to alert citizens seconds before an earthquake

Google's early quake warning system, a beacon of hope amid Istanbul's quake concerns

In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck Türkiye's Kahramanmaras region one year ago, resulting in over 53,000 fatalities and leaving more than 100,000 injured, citizens are increasingly concerned about earthquake preparedness, especially amid warnings of a potential major earthquake in Istanbul.

As part of these preparedness efforts, Google's earthquake early warning system for Android users has emerged as a significant tool. Launched in 2021, the system aims to alert users seconds before an earthquake hits, leveraging a network of Android devices to detect seismic activity.

However, there is an important distinction. The closer you are to the epicenter of the earthquake, the earlier you will receive the earthquake warning. 

How does 'Earthquake Alerts' work

First and foremost, for the system to become active, Android users need to select the "Earthquake Alerts" feature and enable the precise location feature.

Steps for Users

  • Access the settings menu on your phone.
  • Enter the location in the search bar.
  • Navigate to the earthquake alerts option.
  • Activate the feature if it's not already on.

It's worth noting that Google's earthquake early warning system is not a preventive system. It has been observed to function only in some earthquakes that have occurred in recent months.

Google early warning system's performance on Feb. 6th quakes

There are claims that this system, developed in 2021, did not work during the earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaras on Feb. 6.

Although the company argues that millions of warnings were sent before the Feb. 6 earthquakes, BBC says that no warnings were sent based on its research in three affected regions. Speaking with a Google representative, BBC also mentions in its report that the company could not provide any evidence to them.

Source: Newsroom

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