Pakistanis can now get earthquake warnings on Android phones

A view of Google’s Android earthquake alert system.

Karachi: Google is launching an “Android Earthquake Alert System” in Pakistan that will send automatic early warning alerts that will help people be prepared for emergencies.

It’s a “no-cost, helpful” feature that detects earthquakes around the world and alerts people using sensors in Android smartphones.

The system uses the accelerometer in an active Android smartphone to detect seismic activity. It alerts people in two ways – through search and directly on the Android mobile device.

The system provides near-instantaneous information to Google Search. When people see “earthquake” or “earthquake near me,” they will find useful resources as well as relevant results on what to do after an earthquake.

Users who do not wish to receive these alerts can turn it off in the device settings.

It was first introduced in New Zealand and Greece and is now available in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United States and Uzbekistan.

How does an earthquake warning system work?

On mobile devices, the Android Earthquake Alert System displays two types of alerts based on the magnitude and intensity of the earthquake.

Be careful when an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 occurs, or a magnitude of 3 or 4 on the MMI scale. Notification is sent with the distance to the epicenter of the earthquake.

Alert uses the phone’s current volume, vibration and Do Not Disturb settings.

Take Action There is a full-screen warning for earthquakes of magnitude greater than 4.5 or earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above on the MMI scale. To help people prepare for potentially heavy aftershocks, full-screen instructions are shown and the phone makes a loud noise.

How to Activate the Android Earthquake Alert System

To check on your Android device when alerts are on, simply go to Settings > Location > Advanced > Earthquake Alerts.