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Received An Earthquake Alert On Your Android Phone? Here’s Why You Got That Notification

Received An Earthquake Alert On Your Android Phone? Here’s Why You Got That Notification

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia yesterday.

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According to Free Malaysia Today, yesterday at around 9:59 PM, an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale hit western Indonesia’s Sumatra island, causing fearful residents’ homes to shake. The Malaysian meteorological department has warned that tremors could be felt in several areas, including Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, and Johor.

(Credit: United States Geological Survey)

Though we are living very far away from Indonesia, Android users here received an earthquake alert about what was happening over there. So, why are we receiving the alert?

How Android Earthquake Alerts System Works

According to Google, in the United States, there’s a network of 1675 seismic sensors to detect earthquakes, and analyses that data to determine the location and size of the tremors. The system then sends a signal to Android Earthquake Alerts System, which then sends an alert directly to Android users.

Outside of the U.S., Google uses a crowdsourced approach to detect earthquakes. Every smartphone has a small accelerometer that can identify movements and velocity, which are indications of a possible earthquake. Whenever the accelerometer senses any such activity, it transmits a message to Google’s earthquake detection server, along with a rough location of where the event is taking place.

(Credit: Tech TRP)

The server then consolidates the data received from numerous phones to determine whether or not an earthquake is happening. This technique utilises more than two billion Android phones being used worldwide as miniature seismographs to create the most extensive earthquake detection network globally. The phones pick up the vibration and velocity of an earthquake and notify Android users in the impacted regions.

This is why Android users here received the earthquake alert because Google deemed Malaysia to be closed enough to Indonesia.

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