Bay Area earthquake came with early warning for 2.1 million ShakeAlert app users. The ShakeAlert app will continue and the system is designed to save lives
It was a year since the devastating earthquake that took the lives of more than 200,000 people and left two million homeless in Chile. Those on the city’s streets were still waiting for the government for shelter and more needs.
While they waited, the app’s ShakeAlert system that uses voice technology and vibration to alert people in a hard-to-reach area of a disaster, including earthquakes, Tsunami, cyclones, wildfires, flooding and landslides.
It was also the first earthquake emergency system in the world to be designed for mobile phones.
Those who didn’t get the alert didn’t even know they live in an earthquake zone.
While most people would go on with their daily lives, many took advantage of the early warning and began scrambling to evacuate their homes.
‘The app was a revolution’
Kerry Riddle is an English writer and author of several books. He has been a reporter in many countries, including Chile and Peru, and writes about current events, news, popular culture, business, and technology. He has lived, studied, and worked in South America, the United Kingdom, and in the Philippines and China.
An earthquake in the middle of our biggest city with no warning would have been devastating,” Riddle tells Yahoo News. “It would have been a huge tragedy for the people there. This system allows you to get information, take action, be alert to that that something in the area is wrong, and it saves lives.”
He says that while the app is designed for people in coastal towns, it could also be used by people in the interior of a country. These systems could be used to help rescue victims of flooding by alerting friends and family members, but the only way to get to people in areas that are inaccessible to cell phone service and internet would be to have a trained technician on the ground, such as an earthquake scientist.
“It’s a really exciting thing to see that technology is allowing for that type of alert,” he says.
A version of this article was originally published at The Conversation.