What would you do with 40 seconds of warning that an earthquake is coming? An earthquake is a sudden jolt of the ground, which causes great destruction in most cases, ranging from the destruction of land, property, houses and even taking innocent lives. For many years, earthquakes have really affected the lives of people as you just know when you are on the road. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley launched a Smartphone application that hopes one day will allow people to know that an earthquake is coming and give them time to move on to a safer place.
For now, the MyShake (available for Android phones) the application will act as a data collector that uses the accelerometer to record a phone-to-shot. If you determine that you have the same characteristics as the earthquake, the application sends the data to the Berkeley seismic laboratory.
Richard Allen, the developer of the application, said that smartphones will never replace seismic networks, but the application could contribute to and potentially accelerate earthquake alert systems.
ShakeAlert does not issue alerts when four of the traditional seismic stations are activated, but with mobile phone data, a station must only activate before an alert is issued. MyShake could be especially useful in countries like Nepal and Peru, Allen said.
The goal is to get people around the world download the application and then validate this version and try it out. On launch day, the application was downloaded by users on six continents. Most users are in the United States.
So how does the application know the difference between, say, a person doing an aerobics class and an earthquake? Demand has been fueled by the different characteristics of earthquakes and human activity and the phone are trained to know the difference. If the phone thinks the movement it feels is an earthquake, it sends a message to Berkeley for analysis.
This application would be very helpful in helping life and possibly reducing mortality rates. Do you think this could be the future of earthquake prediction?