Google Earthquake Alerts Arrive on Android Smartphones in India

The earthquake alert system uses smartphone sensors such as accelerators to detect tremors.

  • Google has launched earthquake alerts on Android in India.
  • The earthquake alert system has been developed with consultation from NDMA and NSC.
  • The alert system uses smartphone sensors like accelerators to detect tremors.

Google has launched its useful earthquake alert system in India on Android smartphones. The company first introduced the feature in 2020, when it launched earthquake alerts on Android devices in California. The feature is now available to Android users in India. Considering earthquakes are quite frequent in most parts of the country including the National Capital Region, this feature could be useful. The Google Earthquake Alert on Android can warn users of impending or current earthquakes and also suggest safety actions.

Google Brings Android Earthquake Alerts to India

According to Google, the earthquake alert system on Android in India has been developed with consultation from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC). Thanks to the regional data integration, the alert system will warn users in advance about impending earthquakes in affected regions. Moreover, the alerts will also be in local Indian languages supported by Android in the country.

Android will now send two types of earthquake alerts to users in the country. These are Be Aware and Take Action, which are self-explanatory. Google elaborates that the Be Aware alert will be sent when a region experiences MMI 3 and 4 shaking during an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 or greater. This alert is more subdued and doesn’t play any alert sound if the Android smartphone is in DND or silent mode.

The Take Action alert, on the other hand, is more serious and can bypass system settings. It’s sent to users in areas experiencing over MMI 5 shaking during an earthquake of 4.5 magnitude. This alert warns users with a loud alert sound even if the Android device is in DND or silent mode. This alert also tells users about safety measures like taking cover under a table or going outside.

According to Google, earthquake alerts are mostly sent out to users seconds before tremors are felt. The earthquake alert system uses smartphone sensors like accelerators, which act as small seismometers, to detect tremors. The company detects a possible earthquake by collecting data from many Android devices noticing seismic activity in the region.

Google advises users to have Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity, and location services enabled on their Android devices to receive earthquake alerts. Moreover, the earthquake alert system is compatible only with Android 5 or newer versions. Below are the steps to turn on the earthquake alert on an Android smartphone.

  • Open Settings on your Android.
  • Go to the Safety & Emergency option.
  • Toggle on Earthquake alerts.

Alternatively, users can also turn it on from the Location settings.

  • Head to Settings on your Android phone.
  • Go to the Location option.
  • Click on Advanced.
  • Toggle on Earthquake alerts.