Earthquake detector 'QuakeAlert' gives warning before tremor; can save millions of lives


How about an early earthquake alert which would give you some time to prepare yourself for a devastating shake? Early Warning Labs in Santa Monica, with their official partners US Geological Survey (USGS), is developing an app called 'QuakeAlert', which will be most reliable technology to provide pre-earthquake alerts.

The developers are now in its initial stage of making this revolutionary app, which is a joint collaboration of well-known science and engineering Institute Caltech, Berkeley University of California, University of Oregon, University of Washington and the University of South California.

According to Wired, the app is not available for all but during its testing period, it gave an alert of the quake of San Francisco Bay Area which rattled almost 9.8 million people on January 4, Thursday. However, the developers are expecting to achieve more reliable results from this new technology by the end of 2018.

On the other hand, with the help of other collaborators and State and university partners, USGS's earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert ™, which includes the developing app, is considered as a small step to track quakes in other endangered regions in the world, such as Japan and Mexico.

In terms of pre-earthquake alert, there is a system in Mexico City, which warns through speakers in public places. It provides a 60 to 90-second window, to find a nearby safe shelter before the shake.

According to early reports, the sounds from rocks might help scientists to track earthquakes one week in advance. In a journal named Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers described a computer programme that tracks on quiet rumbles made by rocks deep inside the Earth and that is the same technology behind ShakeAlert.

However, other research on the same type of warning programs is trying to create a system which will provide at least weeks' notice before the shake by focusing on the sounds of the rocks.