Why did Android cell phones in Lima receive a message about a nearby earthquake?

On Friday night, a large number of users received an alert about a magnitude 4.9 earthquake in Lima. Google was responsible.


During the night of this Friday, May 5, different users on social networks reported a message received on their cell phones about an earthquake (in some cases it was reported as an earthquake) near Lima.

This alert was detected mainly on Android cell phones and is due to the fact that Google tested its emergency system service on computers near the affected area. For what is this?

The earthquake alert

Google maintains the Android Earthquake Alerts System (AEAS), a free and globally available earthquake alert system.

In this case, Android uses the device’s location to send information about nearby earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 and above.

In this case, Google estimated the earthquake at magnitude 4.9 and asked users to stay safe after the telluric movement through a series of recommendations.

Was there an earthquake? Yes, but not to that magnitude. The Geophysical Institute of Peru ( IGP ) determined that the epicenter of the activity was 15 kilometers southwest of Yangas, in Canta.

This is how it detects

According to Google account in its official blog , “crowdsourcing” is used to detect these earthquakes .

“All mobile phones contain very small accelerometers that can detect vibrations and speed, signs that an earthquake might be taking place. If your phone detects something it thinks may be an earthquake, it sends a signal to our earthquake detection server along with the approximate location where the tremor occurred. The server then combines the information from many phones to find out if an earthquake is taking place. This method uses the more than 2 billion Android phonesfrom around the world as mini-seismographs to create the world’s largest earthquake detection network; the phones detect the vibration and shaking speed of an earthquake and alert Android users in affected areas accordingly.

Alerts are not available in all regions, not all earthquakes can be detected, and estimates of earthquake magnitude and intensity may not be accurate, as in this case.

The user can receive an alert before or after the earthquake starts , or during the seismic movement.