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Google Announce Android Earthquake Alerts to India

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On the eve of its 25th birthday, Google rolled out its Android Earthquake Alerts system in India, providing free early warnings to Android users seconds before shaking starts in their area. 

Search giant along with consultation from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Seismology Center (NSC), has developed the alerts system alerts for Android users in an area that’s likely to be impacted. These alerts will be available in local Indian languages supported by Android. 

The system uses accelerometers in Android smartphones, which can act like mini seismometers, to detect seismic waves. If many phones register shaking at the same time, Google's servers can instantly confirm an earthquake's epicenter, magnitude, and other details. Alerts are then pushed to nearby Android devices ahead of significant tremors.

According to the company, there will be two types of alerts that will be sent to users' devices: 

  1. "Be Aware", for light (MMI 3-4) shaking from quakes above magnitude 4.5, 
  2. "Take Action", for strong (MMI 5+) shaking. 

In Be Aware alert,  if the user's phone is in Do Not Disturb mode or in Silent mode then it just shows an alert on the screen without making any sound or ring. However, users experienced MMI 5+ shaking during an earthquake of 4.5 magnitude, in this case, the alert will bypass the system’s notification settings, including Do No Disturb, and play a loud sound.

How to Enable Earthquake Alerts Feature on Android

It's very simple to enable Earthquake Alerts on your Android device.

Just Open Settings and scroll down to Safety & Emergency, and now look for Earthquake Alerts and Enable it. 

Enable Earthquake Alerts Feature on Android

To receive alerts, Android 5+ users need an internet connection (via cellular data or WiFi) and location services enabled. Alerts can be disabled in device settings. 

Google already provides AI-based flood warnings across India, launched in 2018. The Android Earthquake Alerts system is live in several countries globally. This new India launch will leverage smartphones as a free public safety system, providing potentially life-saving seconds of warning to millions. 

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