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USGS Tests QuakeAlert App with 60-Second Warning

May 27, 2015  - By

Earthquake Alert ScreenSixty seconds may not sound like much, but if given advance warning of an earthquake, people could take cover, trains could stop, and oil rigs could be shut down before the shaking hits.

The earthquake early warning app QuakeAlert, by Early Warning Labs, aims to provide that extra time. The app, with new technology developed in partnership the United States Geological Survey (USGS), will be tested by the USGS, the California Institute of Technology and other university researchers.

QuakeAlert is designed to alert users with a countdown to when shaking will strike their exact location, and tell the user how severe the intensity is expected in their location. The app simultaneously delivers important safety instructions to the user on how to respond if indoors, outside or in a moving vehicle. QuakeAlert will be provided to users free of charge.

The QuakeAlert app uses USGS seismic sensor network data, an Esri GIS backend and the Microsoft Azure cloud to deliver earthquake early warnings. The app is currently in private beta testing with university researchers at CalTech and USGS scientists, and will be available to the public for free once the USGS receives full funding of its early warning program and approves the technology for the public.

Early Warning Labs (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator in Santa Monica, Calif., and an official research and development partner with the USGS. Early Warning Labs is collaborating with university partners including Caltech, Berkeley and the University of Washington, as well as Esri.

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in GIS News, Mobile Devices, Technology

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.