A Smart and Timely Quake Alert?

A Smart and Timely Quake Alert?

Quake Alert

After a devastating earthquake in Nepal, that took a toll of lives and caused massive destruction to the heritage and property of Nepal, scientists have now discovered that smart phones could be used as an economical alternative to sophisticated earthquake monitoring networks. Technology has grown manifold in the last few years.

Scientists have devised such apps where in the GPS in your smart phones can now detect an earthquake and warn you even before the strongest wave from the quake begin. Until now most of the countries were not receiving warnings as the earthquake monitoring systems are quite expensive. Also, such systems that detect an earthquake are only prevalent in few parts of the world including Japan and Mexico.

It’s true that GPS in smart phones might not be as accurate as earthquake equipments, but it can still measure earthquakes that measure up to  7 in magnitude on Richter scale. GPS can actually be helpful as electronic waves travel much faster than seismic waves and people can be informed well in advance. Had this app been used earlier, the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Tokyo and Tsunami could have saved thousands of lives.

If data from 5000 smartphone users is collected in an area, warning can be at least sent to people slightly away from the epicenter. Free apps are now available for iOS, Android, Blackberry.

Earthquake Alert is for Android platform. Users can choose to filter quakes by their intensity, distance from you or by time. The app even lets you quickly send the news to others over a few messaging apps.

Yurekuru call is an app for iOS. The app gives warnings and alerts with details such as the intensity, time and the epicenter of the quake.

Quakes is another app for iOS where there’s a timeline that’s visible on the top of the screen along with the intensity of the quake. The locations marked on the map also gives the user an idea of how far away from the epicenter, he/she is.

Gempaloka is an app for Blackberry.  Users can zoom into the map and view bits of information such as the location, intensity and the affected area. The other advantage is its minute file size.

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