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Perth
August 18, 2019
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Science Technology Top Stories

Good News: New app can identify quake tremors early

Now an Android app can harness a smartphone’s capability to sense whether its movement is likely caused by an earthquake or by human activities.
The Myshake app has been unveiled by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
The app transmits data to a processing centre where it can be used, along with the information from millions of other smartphones, to potentially warn users of imminent tremors from nearby quakes.
Qingkai Kong of Seismological Lab at University of California, Berkeley, said the accelerometers in the phones are actually similar to the ones used in seismology.
He said that although they are comparatively low quality, we believed there’s a possibility to utilize them to sense earthquakes. He said Myshake app runs in the backdrop and utilizes only a small amount of power.
The renowned researcher said that low power consumption is important. We tried our best to make less impact on the users, he added.
Seismologist at the British Geology Survey Roger Musson said that the Myshake app can warn of impending tremors but it is only of practical use when the community at risk is some distance from the earthquake.
He said that in case the earthquake is 300 kilometers away, you might get a couple of minutes advance warning. And if you live close to an earthquake fault, the interval will be very short indeed.