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Google's earthquake alert effectively warned Filipinos moments before quake |


Google's earthquake alert effectively warned Filipinos moments before quake

Kristofer Purnell -
Google's earthquake alert effectively warned Filipinos moments before quake
In this contributed photo, students at Epifanio Delos Santos Elementary School in Manila take shelter after the earthquake onm June 15, 2023.
Tere Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos were able to anticipate an earthquake largely because of Google's Android Earthquake Alerts System that has been around for two years now.

A magnitude-6.3 tremor hit Calatagan,Batangas on June 15, jolting parts of Luzon including Metro Manila.

Many Filipinos immediately referred to social media to inform or get updates if an earthquake had indeed ocurred, and several shared about a notification they had received from the Android Earthquake Alerts System.

Most smartphone users received the notification moments before the earthquake was felt in their respective areas. The notification even estimated the magnitude and distance of the quake from users.

This is separate from the free text alerts sent by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council as Filipino iPhone users also receive such messages.

Google launched the free Android Earthquake Alerts System globally in June 2021, after initially launched in New Zealand and Greece, to provide early warnings for when seismic activity is detected in the area using built-in accelerometers in active Android smartphones.

Smartphones send signals and a coarse location to a Google server which then notes information from other smartphones to analyze the probability and magnitude of an earthquake.

"Our country, being located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, is prone to natural calamities and this update will play an important role in disaster preparedness and risk reduction," Google Philippines country director Bernadette Nacario said at the time of the system's launch.

RELATED: Magnitude-6.3 quake shakes parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila

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