Ecuadorians with smartphones received a message from the Android Earthquake Alert System. The Geophysical Institute explains that this alert is a development that should be taken advantage of in the country.
The earthquake of March 18 , 2023 will go down in history as the first of great magnitude to be collected by the Earthquake Alert System of the Android platform, in Ecuador.
That platform is connected to Google, which sent an alert message to Ecuadorians.
In some cities around the world with frequent tremors, authorities have implemented systems like ShakeAlert. They have more than 1,600 seismic sensors to detect a tremor or earthquake early. They operate, for example, in California and Mexico.
In other countries like Ecuador, these systems are not very common. But solutions like the Android alert system are helpful because they send a message with a minute’s advantage to the effect of the tremor.
For this reason, the director of the Geophysical Institute, Mario Ruiz, indicated this Monday on Teleamazonas that this system, although under development, should be used in the country.
How Android Operates
Smartphones contain sensors known as accelerometers. These are sensors that detect vibrations, changes in the position of the device and speed of movement.
That, added to an algorithm, can detect -even before we feel it- the characteristic movements of an earthquake.
If the phone detects something it considers a tremor or an earthquake, it sends a signal to Google’s processing centers, said Ruiz, from the Geophysicist.
This signal contains the approximate location where the tremor occurred.
A signal does not cause anything. But if the server receives similar reports from various devices, it can determine when there is an earthquake, its magnitude, its epicenter (approximately) and alert cell phone users who are in the area of influence.
How to connect to the system
For many, the report came to the phone without having activated this service.
But, if you do not have it activated, you have to follow these steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Location, Location Access, or Location Services.
- Press Earthquake Alert.
- Activate the Earthquake Alert.
News published on March 18, 2023 and updated at 12:41 on March 20 with statements from the Geophysical Institute.