California unveils early warning earthquake app

California Gov. Gavin Newsom made an announcement about a new ‘Earthquake Early Warning System’ for the entire state. The system can detect tremors based on the reports it receives from sensors incorporated in the state’s ground and send warnings to smartphones using MyShake application. Besides, it also sends warning alerts to the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system as well.

The system was launched on the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake’s 30th anniversary. If this new system would have existed at that time, people attending World Series Game held in Candlestick could have been alerted around 15 seconds prior the tremors of the quake reached them.

This new system does not foresee earthquakes and post the earthquake’s previously this year failed to develop an alert on smartphones in LA, the threshold set for an alert has been reduced to a 4.5 magnitude and a MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) of 3. Such intensity is similar to one truck passing by your house. As per UC Berkeley, the tests have revealed that alerts can reach the MyShake application users in around 3.7 seconds. Meanwhile, the WEA showed an average alert time of around 13 seconds. So, you can probably get the MyShake app downloaded on your phone.