The Android Earthquake Alerts System has been around for a while but has not been available in our region. Today Google has launched the Android Earthquake Alerts System for Australia and some Pacific Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

This free Android feature detects earthquakes around the world and alerts people to them. Using the accelerometers in active Android smartphones the system detects seismic activities and then alerts people using Google Search and directly on the Android device itself.

The system feeds the result straight into Google Search so that when people search for earthquake or earthquake near me the result will show up along with any other relevant results. Those who do not wish to receive these alerts can easily turn it off in the device settings.

The alerts give the person the information in two forms of alerts, allowing them to be prepared in the event of such an emergency:

  • Be Aware: This alerts people when the earthquake has a magnitude up to 4.5 or has an intensity level of 3 or 4 on the MMI scale. The notification is sent along with the distance of the earthquake’s epicentre. The alert uses the phone’s current volume, vibration, and Do Not Disturb settings.
  • Take Action: This is a full screen alert for earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 4.5 or an intensity level of 5 and above on the MMI scale. To prepare the user for such a large-scale quake full screen instructions are shown, and the phone plays a loud sound — hopefully we never have to experience this one.

If you want to be notified in the case of an earthquake head into the Settings of your Android Device. From there navigate to Location –> Location Services –> Earthquake Alerts. You can also see a demo of the alerts in here as well. For more information check out the video below or head over to the relevant Google page.

Hopefully you never have to use it but this warning system may well come in handy. It’s great that Google has made it available it to Australia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.