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Seconds Before Earthquake Rattled California, Phones Got Vital Warning

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The app notifies users of impending earthquakes.

ShakeAlert issues warnings through a series of agencies and apps including the MyShakeApp, public wireless emergency alert systems, and the Android operating system.


An early-alert system managed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on Monday warned Californians of a 6.2-magnitude earthquake by phone, seconds before it struck.

The ShakeAlert system issues warnings through various agencies and applications, including Google's Android operating system.

USGS sensors feed information bundled into a data package that is displayed on phones within seconds; some alert apps are available for download, but even some who had no such app on their phones received alerts.

ShakeAlert sent quake warnings to about 500,000 phones before the tremors began.

"We got some reports from folks that they got up to 10 seconds' warning before they felt shaking. That's pretty darn good," said the USGS' Robert de Groot.

From The Guardian (U.K.)
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